Title: Udaas Naslein – اُداس نسلیں
Author: Abdullah Hussain
Year of Publication: 2015
Number of Pages: 512
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saad0689 (verified owner) – November 6, 2017
Udaas Naslein is a multi-dimensional novel by Abdullah Hussain which touches upon themes of culture, society, class struggle, love, loss, death and decay through various characters. The novel could be seen as a man’s journey into the known and unknown – a journey in which actions have both intended and unintended consequences. Hussein’s characters often transcend the traditional boundaries of fiction by creating an immutable bond with the reader in a sublime manner. Hussein’s introspective style, vividness of scenery, thoughtful and though-provoking dialogues create a world in which one could easily relate to the characters by feeling their happiness, strife, trials and tribulations in different situations. Simply said, it’s a masterpiece worth reading – again and again!
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A Song Of Books And Readers – January 6, 2019
I read this book last year and fell in love with it, heads over heals. It is a truly amazing book that talks about the indian subcontinent culture. It is a sad and depressing books and almost had me tearing up throughout the second part. I have a couple of things to talk about. Writing : The writing style of Abdullah Hussain is amazing. It is the only book by him that I’ve read yet. His writing style in this one is surprisingly simple, unlike most of classics. It is easy amd simply understandable. Plot / Pacing : The pacing of this book lies somewhere between Rushed and Dragged i.e perfect. The reader never feels as if the story is dragged or rushed at any point at all. Characters : I loved all the characters from this book and most of all, I loved Naeem who is the protagonist in this book. Then I loved the characters of Shehla and Azra as well who are one of my all time favorite characters.
Momina Hafeez (verified owner) – January 12, 2019
Momina Hafeez – January 12, 2019
So first of all, I want to thank the team of Parhai Likhai for being so kind and sending me this lovely book. The delivery was prompt and the book so nicely packaged that it just filled my heart with so much happiness! Also, the book itself was very nice quality and reading it was an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. .. Here’s my review of the book: It is indeed one remarkable masterpiece of a book. Although reading it requires a little patience at the reader’s part as it can get a bit difficult at time. The excellence of this book, in my opinion, lies in how the author navigates through so many time periods, each significant in its own way, so effortlessly. Covering the time of the war of independence in 1857 to the post-partitipn Pakistan in 1947, the author makes his characters – or more precisely tge generations of those characters – inhabit and engage with the lives that they have been entrusted with and evolve as the time goes on. The best thing about Hussain’s writing style is that it does not reek of an overdose of sentimentality, and this makes it very different from the popular Urdu novels that we usually get to read. Moreover, this lack of show of expression makes it a very Modern novel. .. The characters of the Udas Naslen are as exceptional in nature as the writing style of the author. They are complex and very dynamic, changing and evolving with the progression of the plot. They’re neither good, nor entirely bad. They are also neither dispassionate nor overly attached with their surroundings and other characters. Our protagonist, a young village lad, and his fellow villagers get forcibly transported to the faraway lands in order to fight in the wars of their erstwhile colonial masters. The novel shows how this heavily traumatizes the young Indian soldiers, many of whom die unceremoniously in the foreign battlefields while their families die of famine as there is no one to tend to the crops back home. Hussain steers clear of overly-decorated and gaudy language, yet he definitely has his moments. There are bits that hit you right in the gut and take your breath away. I think this more due to the sincerity and genius with which he has sketched his characters than with the brilliance of the language itself. Because language in those sublime and philosophic passages too remains very simple and to-the-point. Another merit of the work at hand its realistic depiction of the life before the partition. Hussain doesn’t bother to create either a rosy, overly romanticized picture of it, and neither does he attempt to push a dystopian image of the time down oir throats. He shows us the ugliness of it without forgetting to include the good parts, the mundane ones, the ones required to make life bearable and also believable. .. I could spot so many Modern influences reverberating through his writing while reading the novel-You can definitely see Hemingway, Woolfe, and Eliot peeking throughout the book. Yet, the author has got his iconoclastic style of writing as well that does stand out from the rest of them. .. Once again, I must say that reading this book was really enjoyable. And that I’m happy that I was given this opportunity to read and review it. Thanks!
airab – January 14, 2019
Udaas Naslein by Abdullah Hussain is book of sentiments written in the era between the partition of sub-continent. This book is slow pace book which needed patience. A book that portray mans journey. i love the writing style, its a sad and depressing book but the best quality of this book is that you won’t make you feel bored. i love that the writer didn’t go into the depth while featuring the romantic scenes. I personally love the character of Azra the way writer portray her i can easily relate myself to her. A beautiful book that I really enjoyed.
bjanat60 (verified owner) – January 20, 2019
As the name depicts this book is depressing,it will break your heart and its not going to fix it. It takes you back to the world war 1 era and all the events that occured afterwards.the axis of the story is the establishment of british rule in subcontinent and the struggles of Muslim and Hindus for the road of freedom from the British colonisation. The disputes and conflicts that lead to the partition of subcontinent and between all these chaos,the love that blossoms between Naeem and Azra. Its a kind of book that stays with you,Abdullah hussain’s writings have the power to make you feel that its real. The minor details he has put in the book can be a little exasperating sometimes. I gave it 4 stars because I had a hard time connecting to the characters and I felt that the interactions between the characters and the transition were a little confusing and his writing seemed a bit too blunt at some points.But overrall he has done his job incredibly.
Sawera Dedar – January 23, 2019
This book, OMG! Wanna crush your heart into one hundred tiny pieces? Here, take this book, it will do the job. This book is a treasure beyond measure, specially for Asians who know what atrocities their ancestors went through to achieve the freedom we have today. The story is not centered around just one particular topic, and takes the readers on several gut-wrenching leaps. All I can say that it has one hell of an in-depth message and I am still drowned in the misery and utter beauty of this book. To be honest, I usually avoid depressing stories but one gotta taste other things too, right?
I give Udas Naslein a 5/5, and would recommend it to everyone because it forever will have my heart.
nehajamal414 – January 27, 2019
“دنیا میں جو انقلاب آئے، جو لڑائیاں لڑی گئیں، ان میں وہ سب بخیروعافیت ختم ہوئے۔ کچھ نوکروں نے اُٹھ کر مالکوں پر قبضہ کرلیا، کچھ مالکوں نے اُٹھ کر نوکروں پر قبضہ جاری رکھا۔ تاریخ اس طرح بنتی ہے۔ انسان ہم نہیں ہیں، واقعات ہیں۔” – اُداس نسلیں از عبداللّہ حسین✍? . کیا ہم کبھی وہ درد، وہ تکلیف سمجھ سکتے ہیں؟ محسوس کر سکتے ہیں جو مسلمانوں نے اپنی آزادی کیلئے لڑتے ہوئے سہا؟؟ آزادی سے پہلے کی تکالیف، کیا یہ سب آسان تھا؟ ایک غلام قوم بن کے رہنا، دوسروں کا جبر سہتے رہنا جو ایک وقت تک کانگریس نے مسلمانوں پہ کیا؟ نہیں۔۔۔ ہم نہ محسوس کر سکتے ہیں، نہ ہم سمجھ سکتے ہیں۔ کیوں؟ کیونکہ ہمیں تو ایک آزاد وطن بونس میں مل چکا ہے۔ . مصنّف عبداللّہ حسین نے بہت اچھے طریقے سے اس وقت کی مسلمانوں کی قید کو واضح کیا ہے جو قیامِ پاکستان سے پہلے تھی، اس وقت کی جہالت، جنگیں، اور کانگریس کے کیے گئے ظلم اور بہت کچھ۔ گو کہ کہیں جگہ الفاظ مجھے عجیب لگے لیکن شاید پہلے اتنی ہی جہالت تھی۔ اور پھر آزادی کی راہ پہ گامزن لوگوں کا حال? لوگ بچھڑ گئے، مارے گئے، جانوروں سے بھی بدتر سلوک، لاشوں کی بے حرمتی، خاندانوں کا بچھڑ جانا۔ مسلمانوں کا انگریزوں اور ہندوؤں کے درمیان کا اذیت ناک سفر۔ لیکن پھر بھی روشنی کی ایک جھلک کے اب ہم ایک آزاد قوم بننے لگے ہیں۔ نیا جذبہ، نیا جوش۔ اور اس وقت پاکستان پہنچ کر آزادی کی ایک پُر سکون سانس۔۔۔ کہ اب ہم آزاد ہیں اور ہم ایک نئی شروعات کرنے لگے ہیں۔ کسان کی زندگی کے اہم پہلو۔۔۔ جنہیں پڑھ کر کافی معلومات میں اضافہ ضرور ہوا، کسان کتنی محنت سے، ہر ایک چیز کا خیال رکھتے تھے پہلے۔ ٹوٹی پھوٹی محبّتیں، ایک دوسرے سے دور اور لا پرواہ، اَن کہی، خاموش اور تکلیف دہ سی۔ تو کہیں جڑتے ہوئے بھی دور ہوئی۔ ‘اُداس نسلیں خوشیوں کی طرف گامزن ہیں۔ ایک نئی اُمید اور جذبہ کیساتھ۔’
Naila Latif – April 25, 2019
this novel reminds me of a poem by ibn e insh that is chal “Insha” apnay gaon mein
Yahan ujlay ujlay roop Boht
Per asli km Behroop Boht
Us paid k neechy kia rukna
Jahan saya km ho dhoop Boht
Chal “Insha” apny gaon mein
Bethen gy sukh ki chhaon mein
kyun teri Ankh sawali hy
Yahan hr ik Bat nirali hy
Is dais Basera mat krna
Yahan muflis hona gaali hy
Chal Insha apny Gaon mein
Jahan sachy rishty yaron k
Jahan wadey pky pyaron k
jahan ghongat zewar naron k…
jahan jharne komal sur wale…
jahan saz bajen bin taron k…
Kre sjda wafa b paon mein
Chal “insha” apne gaon mein.!
the story reveals how we truly are the weary generation. It revolves around the cycle if life, how corcumstances change our decisions and feeling. The writer also gives a clear picture if how this indopak suffered due to slavery! how the youth had to fight for their benificiers and how the slavery helped in earning the honour in our society! only the awareness and enlightment brought into the minds of indians how they are being ruled and used for purpose! How being kala people was a shame as our rulers were goras! how we spend whole of our life trying to find the meaning of life, this hard ship but instead at last we realize that in the lifetime we have been fighting with our selves some times over shadowed with positive feelings but at times they take the face of wicked feelings that we can’t evenname those emotions or we are so embarassed to give them a name in our life. we are either rewarded or punished according to the norms and rules of society, but this is strange that instead of making a society the society makes us! though a loong one but this novel is worth reading more then once! at times i feel as if this is what i want to say what i feel! this is such a relatable novel! This novel has influence of markisn as it talks about the injustice of how the labour is paid less as compared to the ruling class although if we compare the degree of hard work they have no match! alas
Nayab Malik (verified owner) – July 27, 2019
Before I dive into the more intricate parts of Abdullah Hussain’s “Udaas Naslein,” it’s important to lay a framework for how the novel is written. ‘Udaas Naslein’ spans 3 important time periods in subcontinent history: first, the established British Raj, second, the Partition of the subcontinent and third, Independence of two nations. The reader is taken through prolific events like the 1857 ‘war of independence/mutiny,’ incident of Jallianwala Bagh, formation of the Muslim League and more. I truly felt as if the incidents came alive for me; I’ve visited Jallianwala Bagh and Hussain’s description of the place brought back harrowing terror that I’d shelved away in my mind. Now that I’ve set the scene, let’s dive into the novel.
Abdullah Hussain is no stranger to painting vivid images with crisp words. In fact, ‘Udaas Naslein’ stood out in its intense personification of the most seemingly trivial objects. For example, the novel begins with Hussain talking at length about tiny roads and where they lead. He personifies these spidery pathways so as to give them an impish, mischievous quality; the roads rather reminded me of buzzing fairies, hiding in the bushes to tease and waylay weary travelers. Hussain continues to do this throughout his novel. He breathes life into the most ordinary things, particularly a Turkish hat and the column of a young girl’s neck.
Safe to say, I readily fell into the world Hussain creates in ‘Udaas Naslein.’ However, I was not a fan of his characters and perhaps that says a lot about his skill in creating them. I met Naim, son of Niaz Baig (second gen tiller/cultivator in Roshanpur) and immediately developed a strong dislike. Naim came off as seemingly harmless, shy and even meek. However, later I found out that he was prone to fits of random rage and that, coupled with an utter lack of backbone, turned me off of him completely. Not only that, but I quickly realized he had a menacing ability: he often stood by and watched acts of violence/brutality take place. He would do nothing about it, whether it was the old man on the train who got dragged off by white soldiers, or the girl who almost got raped by Naim’s friend in the fields. Naim remained a passive bystander through it all.
Hussain’s male characters all rubbed me the wrong way. Either they came off as meek and hypocritical (Naim and Ayaz, his uncle) or they were brash, aggressive and written right out into an exaggerated trope of masculinity (Roshan Agha the First and Second and Niaz Baig). The women were still better: Azra in particular, interested me, with her solid, rebellious confidence, balance between traditions and modernity and staunch faith in her own beliefs. The women seemed entirely too good for the men they were made to accompany on paper.
It says a lot about Hussain that his characters were able to evoke such a strong reaction in me. However, I did find that most of the characters had underdeveloped or unfinished arcs and the main characters lacked adequate motivation for their actions. For example, Naim’s trajectory is a confusing one. He moved from the city to the village, embedded himself into village life and then suddenly decided to join the army. His only weak motivation? Prove to Azra’s aunt that he could become somebody despite his sordid name. This seemed weak because he’d met Azra only twice and moved alarmingly fast on the romance front at that. Their story seemed to me a Bollywood rendition of how true love comes about and was not a realistic arc.
So, ‘Udaas Naslein,’ the good, the bad and the ugly. Hussain’s use of imagery was stunning, so much so that I plodded on reading the Urdu text despite my weak linguistic skills, just because I wanted to live in the world he created. Even the way he described a simple dish of rice and ghee made me want to dive into the book and taste it. He also painted intricate characters that were able to evoke mixed but strong reactions in me, something I take as a strong positive, but some of their arcs were left unfinished and trailing. Overall, I saw why this novel has become one of the cornerstones of Urdu literature: it was an important lesson in history, heritage, generational gaps, family ties, the harsh reality of life and learning from past mistakes.
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