Title: Raakh – راکھ
Author: Mustansar Hussain Tarar
Year of Publication: 2015
Number of Pages: 588
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Mariam Malik – February 5, 2019
Raakh is the story of Pakistan. It takes you through the darkest of the chapters in the country’s history. The partition and what came after. The riots and the burning of Shah Almi Gate. The politics brewing in the country. The Fall of Dhaka. Dictator governments and their rule. Unrest in the country. Killings in Karachi.
Not only that, Raakh is also considered an autobiography of sorts. The life of the protagonist Mushahid bears strong parallels with Mustansar’s own life. The account of Mushahid’s life growing up in Lakshmi Mansion and the appearance of none other than Manto himself adds a very personal touch to the story.
Of all the books I’ve read by Tarar Sb, i think this one stands out to me the most. The way Raakh was so open about the tragedies and sufferings the people have been a subject to since partition, had me totally speechless. Reading it was like being kicked in the gut every 10 minutes or so. The story also has this strong nostalgic feel to it. For me, Raakh struck all the right chords and I think its safe to say that this masterpiece is my favorite book in Urdu Literature.
I don’t think any review i write can do this book any justice. But if you were to read one Urdu book on my suggestion, make it this one. You won’t regret it. I promise.
قتل، قتل کو جنم دیتا ہے۔ تاریخ کے اختتام تک۔ اور ہمیشہ انصاف کے نام پر۔ انصاف جو انسانی تاریخ کا سب سے مہلک اور پرفریب لفظ ہے۔
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