How did the events leading up to 1947 and ultimately partition affect the families of sub-continent? Aangan is the story of the women who lived through those turbulent times, whose lives were deeply affected by the struggles around them.
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Title: Aangan – آنگن
Author: Khadija Mastoor
Year of Publication: 2012
Number of Pages: 318
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Farhat Fatima (verified owner) – January 5, 2019
Aangan by Khadija Mastoor
Khadija Mastoor is one of the famous Urdu writers. She wrote many short stories. Her novel “Aangan” is a major in the literary history of Urdu.
Aangan is based on the time of partition, how people and things used to be in that era, and how the people of sub-continent were yearning for the freedom from the Britishers.
Aaliya, Chammi and Jameel are the three main characters. Aaliya learnt everything from her past experience and never loved anyone because she had seen the brutality, which love had caused to her sister (Tehmina) and Kusum Didi. Chammi was an innocent but not so good mannered girl who yearned for love but never got it. Her father left her after her mother’s death and never cared how she had been living without him. Jameel was just a typical man who got flattered by Aaliya and forgot about Chammi and her love(because of whom he did his BA). But at the end, Jameel and Chammi got married after Chammi’s divorce and Aaliya’s migration to Pakitan.
That was not what I wanted to talk about. I liked these characters, but the character which gave so much pain to my heart, was of ISRAR MIYAN, the ILLEGITIMATE CHILD of Aaliya’s dada (grandfather). How everyone hated him, abused him verbally every single time, how he was insulted even by the maid of the house, these all opened so much doors to think for me. Why do we blame the CHILD for being illegitimate? Is it his fault that his parents didn’t think about it? That he was not the result of marriage but something else? WHY? His end broke my heart even more. I didn’t cry much while reading this novel, but I cried and felt bad, with Aaliya every time, for Israr Miyan.
Now, comes the RANT part. Okay, so this novel didn’t reach up to my expectations. If I’d go blunt, I’ll say that I didn’t like this novel much. It talked about partition so much but the essence and feel of partition was not present in that way. The characters (main ones) except for Aaliya, are literally not so bearable for me. And and and. The unnecessary touching parts which I openly categorize as vulgarity, disgusted me to the core. They were so less, but they WERE there and they triggered me so badly. Like, the story could’ve stand without those purely unnecessary scenes. In short, I can’t say that I like this novel. #SorryNotSorry
P.S. : You can fully disagree with me. But that’s my point of view. And I respect yours whole heartedly. Thankyou.
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Mariam Malik (verified owner) – January 16, 2019
Aangan, Khadija Mastoor’s most well loved book is one of the most prominent books of its era. The novel is hailed as one of the earliest books of urdu literature written against a feminist backdrop, and rightly so. The book is set in the decade or so leading up to events of independence, and highlights the less talked about sides of the struggle of independence. It is not the story of the political struggles of the British India. It is the story of the families. The families that were torn apart, the sacrifices that were made and the hearts that were broken. It is a story of the families where every person in the household was supporting a different ideology and a different cause. About every thing we like to forget about the independence, Aangan gives us a not so subtle reminder. Another thing that stands out to me is how well fleshed out the characters were. No one was completely good or bad per se. Each character was completely human. The growth they all went through, throughout the story, made them seem even more real. Before picking up the novel do keep in mind that the story has a constant dark and melancholic underlying tone and moments of relief are very scarce. Khadija Mastoor packs quite a lot of heartbreak in such short length but the fact remains that this beautifully written book is a book you have to read at least once.
یہ حضرت انسان بھی خوب چیز ہوتے ہیں۔ نہیں مانتے تو خدا کو بھی حرفِ غلط سمجھنے لگتے ہیں اور جب ماننے پر آتے ہیں تو پیروں کی چوکھٹ پر اس کا جلوہ دیکھنے لگتے ہیں۔
butter.scotch55555 – July 26, 2019
//If you want to get the real essence of Khadija’s writing, then read it instead of watching it//💡💡 **Although the actors are doing justice with the script but the script has some obvious alterations, as they have extracted the theme and characters and add up some exaggerations** 🚫 //Aangan is a story set up in the a slot of 1890-1947 in subcontinent when the Hindus and Muslims both were struggling for independence from British while having a heterogenous nations and different ideologies within too. //Aangan is a story of one family in that era who is divided by political differences and ideological differences about life too. //A moving storyline and a poignant narration by Khadija Sahiba.✅✅ //Female characters are shown strong anyways and even the title Aangan, which means courtyards, is connected to Home who is look after by women and is surrounded by them.💢💫 //Characters are written elegantly by Khadija and I am sorry to say that in drama they are as much exaggerated as they could be. For instance, Chammi and Jameel’s romance and their personalities. .. .. The pace is a bit fast but it’s overall a good piece of Urdu literature and Khadija is surely among those writers who drives emotions in the readers.💠💠 .. English translation of the novel is available too on Internet. .. Recommended to you all
Rabia Naveed – April 26, 2019
An Elegant and poignant book. Every character is genuine and wants to save his deprivations. It was included in the course of urdu literature class. Professors of college usually use the word ‘classic’ for this novel. But at that particular time student ignore such things. Now in couple of months back A darama has been directed on the idea if aangan. I’m 100% sure it will be modified form of book and i pray its end should be different from the book. I always want to read happy endings but my most of the books end-up sad. Which left me tearful and in strange state of mind . Khadija Mastoor wrote a periodic story which take us to past in sub-continent. And families disturb and deteriorate due to politics of Congress and AIML politics. At other hand britain played very negative role in the life of people of sub-continent. This book took reader to the era , the home of a big family before partition and multifarious ways to diversify their loyalties with country and the family. This novel based on multiple love stories some remain unsuccessful, leads towards death and some are successful in their attempts but after a hard struggle and pain. After reading many books i always read and writer focused on one thing if you love someone and he/she didn’t respond leave him/her but if the case is vice versa then keep that person with you for life time this type of love will not faded away. But Aliya’s character left a question over these statements. Why not she fall in love with her beloved even she know the reality of his love. If i re-visit it i found an answer she remain failed because she tried to learn from those people who remain unsuccessful in this journey and that failure led them to death. A book should not teach others to be paranoid and scared of falling in love. Nonetheless,it is brilliantly written book by Khadija Mastoor. Angan is indeed a story which has courtyard from the gardens of past. #rabiareads #aangan #khadijamastoor
Iqra Abbas – February 9, 2019
Book Review Khadija Mastoor is also sort of regarded as one of the first feminist minded writers of the Era . But after reading this novel i pretty sure its true. شامیں ہمیشہ اداس ہوتیں ہیں Aangan’ is not tied to any one time period. It is the tale of people living in trying times and deals with their beliefs, emotions and feelings. These elements lie at the core of society and constitute its cultural, political and social foundation. The story of ‘Aangan’ is, therefore, both universal and ageless. Our people have the same psychological makeup, the same emotions and the same problems as they did . We still have Jameels chasing dreams, Chammis sacrificing themselves for love, and Aaliyas dealing with the doubts and certitudes of life. Very little, if anything, has changed. اور اس سے یہ بھی ثابت ہوا ہے محبت کو ٹھکرانے والے آخر میں خالی ہاتھ رہ جاتے ہیں۔ محبت کا قرض تو اترانا ہی پڑتا ہے چاہے وہ جمیل ہو یا سفدر سماج ، معاشرے کے ہاتھوں تہمینہ جیسی لڑکیاں آج بھی محبت کو نبھا کر دم توڑ دیتیں ہیں
I love character of Chammi , she is amazing . Her talent of not showing her feelings by just laughing is wonderful اس نے محبت کی بے انتہا کی لیکن اس محبت کی بھیک نہیں مانگی۔ Aangan is such a masterpiece. دور رہ کر یادیں اور بھی اذیت ناک ہوتیں ہیں
komal_hashmi – February 7, 2019
Book Review: Read it twice & it had the same depressing & melancholic impact both times. مجھے اور زندگی دے کہ ہے داستان ادھوری مری موت سے نہ ہوگی میرے غم کی ترجمانی Aangan is a story of a traditional family living in a remote village in the undivided Indian Subcontinent where rules, societal norms & restrictions are well-imposed but still, there are instances that bring trouble to the family. It reveals the pre-partition struggle & the inclination of Muslims to take part in the political progress to free themselves from British rule. پر اسے تو ورثے میں صرف اپنا ماضی ہی ملا تھا۔ ماضی جس سے اس نے کیا کچھ نہیں سیکھا۔ However, the tale of Aangan has so much more to offer. The narrator is Aliya, who is extremely sensitive, observes & feels everything. She has seen people close to her die in love (she is determined to save herself from all the heartbreak, love might bring in her life), the suffering of the families at the hand of revolution, the desperate times of poverty, imprisonment of her father & uncle along with the battles fought by the women of her family. ان کے گھر والے انسان نہیں ہوتے، یہ محبت کے قدموں کے کانٹے ہوتے ہیں، جو ذرا دیر میں لہولہاں کر دیتے ہیں۔ Every single person in Aangan has its own demon to fight with, they are so engrossed & captivated in their own ideas, which results in their treating others as lowly creatures & hurling derogatory words towards them. The arrogance of having the money or English relatives that makes some characters deserving to be cruel to others was heart wrenching & disgusting. دور رِہ کر یادیں بہت اذیت ناک ہو جاتی ہیں۔ It is about the unrequited love of Jameel Bhaiyya, the despairing & abandoned life of Chammi with all her nuisances & innocence, the haunting life of Israr Mian who is constantly insulted & deprived of life’s happy moments, the wretched story arcs of Salma Phuppi, Tehmina Aapa & Kusum Didi who suffered at the hands of society & love along with insolent Najma Phuppi. It is about the impact of being a revolutionary on their families.
nayabtariq21 – January 19, 2019
Khadija Mastoor’s “Aangan” is an intense and in-depth experience that cannot be understood in one reading. The story is set in the unstable climate before partition, i.e. towards the end of the British Raj. It’s a complicated tale told through the young but not naive eyes of teenage Aaliya. We’re introduced to this precocious girl in the middle of a freezing winter’s night as she ruminates on how she came to live far away from home and a life she’d always known and loved. Her father is in prison for nationalist crimes and her older sister, who she was close to, is no more. As the story progresses, we see Aaliya go from riches to rags, from emotional plateau to upheaval and back again. She meets a colorful cast of characters, from spunky Chimmy to Jameel, and manages to have daily adventures of some kind or another.
So why should you read this book? Well, Aangan’s strength lies in the intricate complexity of its characters. Mastoor does a spectacular job in making each and every character almost a living breathing thing. This is why I was able to dive so deeply into the story: I cheered for Aaliya, cried buckets over Tahmina’s fate, waited for Safdar with bated breath and wished to drive daggers into Aaliya’s mother’s heart. Through their stories, Mastoor unveils some societal sin or the other. It’s almost as if she pulls back the surface of Indian society and reveals the dark pulsing underbelly. She shows her characters being hypocrites, liars, hopeless romantics and more. She does this so well that I actually felt uncomfortable with one main part of the book: Jameel’s character.
Mastoor uses Jameel’s character to portray a lot of societal sins. He’s shown to be everything that today’s women (and Aaliya) would find cringe-worthy. He’s entitled, lazy and seems to lack any actual drive to come off as controlling. So many things he does made me uncomfortable. He repeatedly professes his love to Aaliya and completely disregards her refusals. Numerous times, he sneaks up and grabs her waist, hands, and even lays his head in her lap at some point. She metaphorically tells him to keep it in his pants but that’s not strong enough to deter this borderline rapist. Everything Jameel does is exactly everything that was and is wrong with so many men in our society.
Overall, I loved Aangan for the amount of emotions it was able to evoke in me and for how it upended a hidden layer of society’s deeds. The novel deserves to be read at least once, if only for the richness of its language and the intricacy of its characters.
ujalaasaf – January 19, 2019
Aangan by khadija Mastoor is a heart rending and an exhilarating read based on the events that took place during the time of the partition. The book is based on the sufferings and the sacrifices made by the families during that time. The book describes that the sacrifices of blood and lives were not the only oblations made by the people of the subcontinent. They gave up their mental peace,their life styles, their well being just for the sake of freedom. Coming towards the review, Aaliya the main character of the book is a young , educated (unlike most girls in her family) and a very sensitve girl. Seeing woman losing investing their all in love and getting nothing but betrayal has made her cold and bitter towards these emotions. She hates how young women fantasize love . Chammi, Aaliya’s rebelious cousin on the other hand is head over heels in love with her cousin Jameel who gave her the fake deception of being in love with her ,crippled her financially to fulfil his educational expenses and then fall for Aaliya as soon as he laid eyes on her. What I like most about the book is that it shows how we give women very less credit in real life for the hardships they endure and somehow they still stand two feet most of the guys of our society. Such as barhi chachi who somehow manages to run the house on her own while her husband totally ignore his own home ,is always busy in taking part and contributing for the delegations led for freedom by Congress to the point his own children are neglected, When Jameel being a guy fails to manage his expenses on his own its chammi who enters his life as a torch bearer in the dark and saves the day similarly Aaliya’s father is too busy bashing all the British for occupying their land forgetting how catastrophic the after effects of this might be for him and gets himself into jail while Aaliya and her mother are left to manage their finances on their own. The book has a melancholic sort off touch to .It might not be liked by many readers since when it comes to story based on partition all what readers expect is to read about bloodshed, homelessness ,surviving without food and money. The circumstances of helplessness and negligence of the Male members of the house that ruined the entire lifestyles of various households as completely neglected. Khadija Mastoor has done a wonderful job bringing out all those underlying emotions and neglected cruelties faced by the women of that time.
hermionegranger3331 (verified owner) – January 14, 2019
Angan is award winning book written by Khadija mastoor and is quite admired.the book has Also been adapted into a drama serial which is currently being aired on HUM tv.Ok so I read this book because I had heard so much about it and I was really looking forward to read it since I watched dastaan drama on partition.Well, let’s move to review before I start talking about further extraneous stuff. I don’t like politics and I must say that there was alot of stuff about partition and politics and wasn’t at all like dastaan.But story is exceptional and there are not much books written on this topic as a proper story so yeah I also enjoyed it.Aliya is the main protagonist of the book and needless to say ,my favorite character.she is caring,loving as well as vulnerable and sensitive who’s much affected by people around her.time changes people and I wasn’t surprised on seeing ego in her later in the novel.jameel bhayia and chammi(I hope I got the spellings right)are the other main characters and chammi’s happily ever after exhilarated me a great deal and I was grateful that book has some happy parts (I don’t like characters in the book enduring so much pain. Although i cant say that chammi is my favourite character because in my opinion,one should not long for love this much).There were some offending parts in book as well but who cares about that when the book is this much addictive?all in all,this story about love betrayal,hearts parting along with countries kept me turning the pages until I was finally done with it. I would definitely recommend this awesome book.Khadija mastoor’s choice of words and the way she portrayed her feelings into words amazed me totally.
zuha514 – January 7, 2019
“شامیں ہمیشہ اداس ہوتی ہیں. *********************************** ???? …………….. خدیجہ مستور کے نام سے کون واقف نہیں؟! وہ اردو ادب کے افق کا وہ درخشندہ ستارہ ہیں جن کی تحاریر آج تلک ادب کی جگمگاتی دنیا کو منور کر رہیں ہیں!
کوئ بدذوق ہی ہوگا جسے یہ کہانی پسند نہ آئ ہو. خدیجہ مستور نے نہایت ہی خوش اسلوبی کے ساتھ اس قابل تعریف کہانی کو سینچا ہے اور بہترین طریقے سے کرداروں کی عکاسی کرتے ہوۓ اس ناول کو ذینت بخشی ہے. جمیل, چھمی اور عالیہ کی محبتوں کو دلکش انداز میں نہ صرف بیان کیا بلکہ تمام کرداروں کے ذریعے تقسیم ہند کے وقت عوام کے مختلف جذبات اور نظریعے منظر عام پر لائں.
عاالیہ ایک حساس طبیعت کی مالک ہے جس کا اعتبار محبت سے اٹھ چکا ہے. اسی طبیعت کی وجہ سے وہ جمیل اور باقی مردوں کی محبت سے دور بھاگتی ہے. اس کے برعکس چھمی نہایت چلبلی, لڑاکا اور اپنی مرضی کی مالک ہے جو محبت کی تلاش میں سرگرداں ہیں. ان دونوں لڑکیوں کا رشتہ گہرا اور محبت سے بھرپور ہے. جمیل بھیا تو اس وقت کے جوان اور پرجوش مردوں کی عکاسی کرتے ہیں جو اس دور میں آزادی کی لڑائ میں انگریز کے خلاف پروپوگینڈے میں بھرپور حصہ لیتے تھے! ان 3 لوگوں کی کہانی ہی آنگن کے جان ہے. گو کہ عالیہ کے انجام سے میں کافی رنجیدہ تھی مگر چھمی اور جمیل کے اختتام نے مجھے کافی مطمئن کیا. اس کہانی میں شاید محبت صرف چھمی کے ہی نصیب میں تھی! *************************************
Aangan is one of the most beautiful work(s) of Urdu Literature that I have come across as far. You will be hit by the melancholic love of Jameel and Aaliya and the undying affinity of the bubbliest Chammi. The way Khadija Mastoor have interconnected the characters in (her sole book) Aangan is highly commendable and deserves a huge lot of appreciation.
Partition didn’t come easy! And you will see that in Aangan in the most captivating manner. Khadija knows how to hit the chords of the heart of the readers. She has described every single detail in the most vivid manner, using an extremely easy yet classical diction.
airab – January 14, 2019
Aangan by Khateeja mastoor was the second book that i bought this book as soon as i got to know that its the complete story who’s short-story i read in HSC-II urdu course book where Aaliya’s father invited his boss to his house but he ended up in jail. I love this short story so decided why not to give a chance to this book and i was glad i did. this book revolves in the era where the Indo-Pak separation was on peak. this story includes Aaliya a shy and a sensitive girl, Chammi a rebellious yet bubbly girl. Aaliya is a girl who want to away from love yet Chammi is a girl seeking for love. Khadeeja mam has done a marvelous job by writing this book . girls can easily relate them to Aaliya or Chammi, for me i can relate myself as rebellious and bubbly as Chammi and a girl running away from fantasy love as Aaliya. this book also portraits other women cross connected stories , where the face betrayal, loss, love, war and many other feelings, where they await for their love, their husbands or their on. This book made me cry, smile, laugh, and sad in short i feel many sensations. i just love it
bjanat60 – January 9, 2019
Aangan by Khadeeja Mastoor is a beautifully written book which deserves all the appreciation. Aangan takes you back to the 1940s,the time when movements for division of subcontinent were in full swing.It revolves around the topic of love,war,seperation,betrayal,new beginnings and family. It is not the story of heroes who led their lives for this mission,It is the story of the people who were left behind,the women who waited for their husbands and sons to come back.It is the story of love which was never reciprocated and people who never met again.From kind yet woke aaliya to innocent yet rebellious chammi this book has some really strong women characters.In short aangan has a lot in store for the readers.
mishalshaikh163 (verified owner) – January 9, 2019
Aangan by Khadeeja Mastoor is one of the best novel in Urdu literature it’s set in the era of 1940’s when the act of partition was about to begin. This book is written from the perspective of Aaliya the leading protagonists. This is a heart touching book that encloses the story of a lady who awaited for her husband and son, people who are left behind at the time of partition, story of lovers who’s love is never reciprocated back and people who are never met again. This books revolves around the greater side of women reflecting their innocence, love, simplicity, courage, yet rebellion side. The this book is over all a really good read with easy writing style even some words are difficult to understand but this book is worth it and beautiful story by Khadeeja Mastoor.
mustaqeemalmas – January 9, 2019
آنگن” ماضی کے دریچوں سے چنی گئ ایک حسین داستان ہے جسے خدیجہ مستور نے بہت ہی خوبصورت انداز میں قلم بند کیا ہے۔ کہانی کے تمام کردار اپنے آپ میں ایک الگ ہی مقام رکھتے ہیں، جو پڑھنے والے کی دلچسپی میں اضافے کا باعث ہے۔ یوں کہنا غلط نہ ہوگا کہ آزادی ملک کی لڑائ میں نہ صرف لوگوں نے خون کی قربانی دی بلکہ کئ لوگوں کے ارمان، خواہشیں، محبت، اور رشتے بھی داو پر لگے۔
نظریوں کے اختلافات کی وجہ سے بہت سی محبتیں ادھوری رہیں اور رشتے نہ صرف ناکام ہوئے بلکہ اپنے مقام سے نیچے گر گئے۔
سلمہ پھوپھی کی محبت امیری غریبی کے درمیان ، آپا اور صفدر بھیا کی محبت چپ کی نظر ہوئ۔ عالیہ اور جمیل بھیا اپنی انا کے شکار ہوئے، اور چھمی کی یک طرفہ محبت کا آغاز قربانیوں سے ہوا مگر انجام ایک خوبصورت منظر تھا جسے پڑھ کر خوشی ہوئ کہ کسی کے ‘آنگن’ میں تو محبت کی برسات ہوئ۔
چوں کہ عالیہ ‘آنگن’ کا ایک مرکزی کردار ہے، جو کہ اس عورت کی عکاسی کرتا ہے جسکا مرد ذات سے اعتبار اٹھ گیا ہے۔ کیوں کے اسکے خیال میں مرد اپنے نظریہ، اپنے مفادات، اور دلی تسکین کیلئے محبت، گھر، رشتے، سکون سب داو پر لگا دیتا ہے۔
آنگن صرف ایک کہانی نہیں بلکہ ایک مکمل دور ہے جو آزادی ملک کی لڑائی میں ادھورا رہتے ہوئے دو حصوں میں تقسیم ہوگیا۔
storiesandplottwists – January 8, 2019
it is an award winning novel by the legendary urdu writer #khadijamastoor set in the era of early 1900’s, when the partition act was about to take place. it portrays the struggles that the Muslims and Hindus faced during that time, and the effect of it on their love life.
i have read way too many steamy scenes in English #literature books and don’t bat an eyelid over them, but let me tell y’all, when it happens in Urdu books, they make me blush even if it’s plain ‘ole hugging, urdu has it’s way of planting it’s claws in your heart. jameel bhaiya’s unrequited love for aaliya made me almost tear my hair out in frustration, but i didn’t coz you know, i won’t look good bald.
the romanticism was portrayed exquisitely, wheather it be tehmina aapa’s ishq, chammi’s infatuations or aaliya’s loyalty. the book narrates through aaliya’s perspective, taking us all through the cruel past and then eventually mingles with the present. i loved each part equally.
Arqam awan – January 7, 2019
REVIEW Of آنگن Many acclaimed writers, novelists and poets have contributed to Urdu literature but for each writer, one or a couple of writings have stood out and become immortal. Such is the case with Khadija Mastoor’s novel Aangan. The popular novel has been turned into a TV serial with a star cast that couldn’t have been bigger or better While the play has been directed by Mohammed Ehteshamuddin, who has blockbuster projects. I had read Aangan for the first time around a years ago and remembering that the feeling was not very pleasant. Promos of Hum TV’s upcoming drama Aangan, however, stirred this inquisitiveness to revisit the story before the play starts; especially also because the promos gave a very different feel to what I remembered of the story. Khadija Mastoor — in a span of 54 years — wrote three collections of short stories and two novels. Out of the two, Aangan is the one that got lots of admiration in the literary circle. I picked up the novel and put it down only after I had finished reading it. STORY LINE Aangan is the story of a family’s saga from riches to rags in the backdrop of the political upheaval in the subcontinent. It can be easily termed as a historic narrative elucidating various political ideologies and changing cultural values with the help of the characters of the novel. The protagonist of the story is Aaliya — a strong and focused girl who keeps her dignity intact even in the most unfortunate of circumstances. She is sensitive and intelligent yet very humble and a caring soul. She keeps others before herself but in over-analysing people and relationships, she herself remains at loss. The way Aaliya’s character is built, especially vis-a-vis the male lead, gives confusing signals; at times she is averse to him whereas simultaneously she longs for his attention. Khadija Mastoor develops her characters and their surroundings like a painting, keeping in mind each and every detail using similes and metaphors beautifully. There are hardly any moments of dramatic relief. If you want to read a light-hearted book, Aangan is not for you but anyone who is able to appreciate the art and style of beautiful writing must not miss reading the novel.
Momina Hafeez (verified owner) – August 22, 2019
This book is loosely based around the event of India-Pakistan partition as well as the events leading upto it. I say ‘loosely’ because the novel uses the partition as a backdrop while foregrounding the private lives of the members of a Muslim family living in the pre-partition India. In fact, the writer has beautifully interlaced the private and the political in such a way that both continuously impinge on one another. What I appreciated the most about this book was the author’s style of writing which is very unique. The way Mastoor handles the technique of stream of consciousness is simply very admirable. I also really liked the characterization in this book. All of the characters seem very unique but, at the same time, quite relatable. However, while the book excels when it comes to style, it majorly lags behind as far as plot development is concerned. I really wish that the story had more substance to it then having all the unnecessary meandering details that could have been easily avoided.
Moreover, this book seemingly has strong feminist streaks running through it. On the surface it seems to stand for women empowerment and gender equality by highlighting the oppression women had to face in a patriarchal society such as ours. However, upon digging deeper, one realizes that it merely reaffirms and essentializes the notion of gender inequality by making women appear inherently weak and ultimately dependent on the men of their household. The author’s bias against financially and socially independent women becomes even more evident when she sketches a highly negative, almost witch-like portrayal of the only one truly independent female character in the entire novel i.e. that of Alia’s phupo. You must notice how she eventually “punishes” this character for being such a “bad girl” by marrying her off to a man who is clearly way below her standards both socially and educationally. Chammi and Alia, on the other hand, appear to be the ever favoured characters because both of them are as docile and submissive as women are supposed to be and who finally settle for the fate (and then men it brings them). So instead of actually challenging the patriarchal standards of our society, the novels seems to just reinforce and validate them through the portrayal of its various female characters. Overall, this was a good, insightful read. I’ll be looking for more books by the author.
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