Title: Two Loves: Faiz’s Letters from Jail
Author: Salima Hashmi, Kyla Pasha
Year of Publication: 2011
Number of Pages: 280
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komal_hashmi (verified owner) – October 13, 2019
This book is a gem & I will cherish it forever. It is a perfect book to get an intimate insight into the prison life of this timeless legend. Edited by Kyla Pasha & Salima Hashmi, it is a great step towards preserving heritage & for reminiscing past events. It is a collection of letters written by Faiz to his wife Alys during his 4-year prison sentence from 1951 to 1955. Out of 135, only 33 are included, as the rest of them were ruined by termites & time when Faiz & Alys moved to Beirut in 1978. All these letters were written from Hyderabad Jail (he was sent to other Jails too). Ironically, he was arrested in 1951, long before the hearings of the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case even started. He wrote Dast-e-Saba & Zindaan Nama during this time. These letters are an elegant representation of his various mood swings, pain, worries & suffering. His prose is as poetic & eloquent as his poetry. It oozes with anecdotes, concerns, messages of hope & freedom even in the face of this confinement. There is a certain balance in his writings. He surely had his down days as the prison life is bound to get on one’s nerves, esp. when you were used to the work & social life. The immense love he had for his wife, children (Saleema & Muneeza, who wrote adorable letters) & his family is evident in his letters. He constantly worries about them, tries to boost his wife’s morale in any way he can, not only give ideas for her work in Pakistan Times but also appreciates her wholeheartedly. It makes you believe in love stories & sticking together, no matter how hard the circumstances are. Since the letters were censored & there is not much to be done in prison, there are talks of weather, things needed from home, the anticipation of visits from the family & inquiries about friends. They left me teary-eyed & heartbroken due to the intense loneliness, grief & helplessness of being in prison. One gets to see Faiz in a different light. His wisdom, intellect & kindness is awe-inspiring. P.S. It has some typing errors which could have been avoided.
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