Tag Archives: Novels

Aangan by Khadija Mastoor

Every week we send out reviews and excerpts of books that our readers love. One of the most popular books on Parhai Likhai has been Aangan by Khadija Mastoor so we thought we not try something different this time. Instead of sending you reviews of 3 different books, this time we are sharing reviews from different readers about just one book! This will not only give you an idea about the book’s contents but will also help you decide whether it’s worth reading. After all, isn’t that what we are all looking for? A book worth reading!

Those who loved Aangan!

komal_hashmi on February 7, 2019 gave it 5 stars!

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.

zuha514 also gave it 5 stars on 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.

Iqra Abbas gave the novel 5 stars on 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

Mariam Malik gave the novel 4 out of 5 stars on 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۔

nayabtariq21 gave Aangan by Khadija Mastoor 4 out of 5 stars on 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.

Aangan by Khadija Mastoor was just okay

Arqam awan thought the novel wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and gave it 3 out of 5 stars on January 7, 2019

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.
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.

Farhat Fatima did not like it and gave it 1 out of 5 stars!
– 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.

P.S. : You can fully disagree with me. But that’s my point of view. And I respect yours whole heartedly. Thankyou.

-Farhat Fatima

So there you have it! We hope this was a good read for all of you and you enjoyed hearing these different perspectives about Aangan! Check out more reviews by heading to the link below.

Aangan by Khadija Mastoor

You can check out more reviews by our fantastic readers on the articles below!

Best Urdu Books – Reviews

Best Urdu Books – Reviews

Weekly Reviews Parhai Likhai

One of the things that we have been trying to do at Parhai Likhai is to make sure that it is easy for readers to explore new literature and one of the best ways to do this is by seeing what other readers are saying! So here is your dose of weekly reviews. Featuring 3 fantastic reviewers this time as well komal_bibliomaniac thegirlwithherreadinglist__ & amm_c_larki

Komal Hashmi gave Baagh by Abdullah hussain a rating of 5 stars!


Book Review: I remember reading Baagh by Abdullah Hussein three years back & how it left me extremely sad & melancholic as the vivid descriptions in this novel kind of grows on you. The sadness, despair & longing not only fascinate the readers but also crawls into their heart & mind. Finished re-reading it today & it had the similar haunting effect. Abdullah Hussein deserves all the appreciation for his contribution to Urdu literature. It is a story of strange love, obsession, strong desires, living with an ailment, questioning everything & trying to make sense of life. It is also about getting caught for alleged murder, the horrible police torture & the army recruiting people as spies (highlighting Kashmir struggle without naming names). Bagh (باگھ) is about Asad who is obsessed with an idea of hunting a tiger/ leopard, a kind of person whose mind is constantly trying to join the dots of things happening in the world & in his life. He ponders on everything philosophically & is suffering from a breathing disease that takes him to a Hakim (حکیم) in Gumshad. This is where he falls in love with Yasmeen (hakim’s daughter) & I simply love how they call each other اسدی & یاس. Their love story is not your typical one but it is an unexpected rollercoaster ride of emotions. You will have to read the book to better understand the events that unfold one after another when a tragedy strikes & their lives are turned upside down. The days in jail with horrendous torture & humiliation by the Police & how the intelligence works in recruiting boys for sending them across the border will keep you hooked. It discusses various intense themes like secrets & unforgettable memories from the past that shape one’s future, village life, the intimate & naked truths of a relationship between a man & a woman, the powerful love that keeps you sane in the most difficult situations, the point in life when you realize that your lifelong obsession cannot be fulfilled & the emptiness that follows; all of this & so much more is written in such an eloquent & intricate manner that you can’t help but fall in love with it. The ending will leave you in awe.

thegirlwithherreadinglist__ gave Raja Gidh by Bano Qudsia 5 stars!

raja gidh

Today Lets talk about the Legend of Urdu writing No one other than Bano Qudsia. I’ve heard so much praising about her books, So this is my first book of her. Book Review_📖 . Bano Qudsia has wrote this novel at the concept of Halaal & Haram, & Ishq-e-lahasil. The Gidh is the urdu word for vulture & Raja means The king. The name anticipates the kingdom of vultures. Vultures used to eat carcasses of dead animals & because of there feeding ‘haraam’ not only they but their upcoming generations suffered. She gave this perspective relating to vultures if you get involved in something forbidden from God you’ll lost your peace of mind, on quoting this as a serious ethical, social or religious issue. Synopsis: The story begins at the Govt Collage Lahore with Seemi Shah, Aftab & the story narrator Qayyuum, attending the MA sociology class. Seemi Shah was a modern independent girl by whom not only most of the boys are attracted but even their Sociology professor was charmed by her existence. Seemi falls in love with her class fellow Aftab who was related from a Kashmiri family. When she demands for marriage the guy denied her to telling that his family would never ever gave him the authority to getting married outside. . Plot: So the long story of separation was started from there. When Aftab has left Seemi & was getting married with his cousin. After this incident Seemi totally back off from her life & studies, Qayyuum tried so hard to console her grief, but failed. When he gets involved doing sin, from this part Qayyuum took himself into a wrong path for walking in run of ‘lahasil’ & ‘haraam’. It portraits the reasons of his dis satisfied & catastrophic life. . Bano Qudsia has completely mesmerised me with this masterpiece. The journey of being lost to find your self isn’t so easy, there are so many things defined in book. When you consume haraam’ which consequences you’ve to face, How to not act sin’ after being betrayed by someone. How to Deal with depression, anxiety. These are the common problems with people living in this society. This book is worth reading. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

amm_c_larki gave Guldaan by Ismat Chughtai 5 out of 5!


I get this book from @parhlikh and their services are extremely good. There is one question in everyone’s mind that why #parhlikh , there are many other bookstores , The only reason is that , they are not only selling books but Actually they promote our culture, specially urdu literature, they Reborn the love of books. They have both English and urdu literature with very low prices Now come to the book “Guldan written by Ismat Chughtai ” To be a female, Muslim Indian writer is to be burdened by a triptych of prejudices; colonialism, patriarchy and zealotry. Yet, rather than be weighed down by this load, Chughtai’s prose soars majestically above the cultural cliches and convolutions. In “Guldan” her story “Zahir ka Piyala” is best one from all stories. I can’t sleep properly after reading that . In story , a poor women works in rich family to fulfil needs. She has to nursing , take care of little girl , while lactation to little girl , She has no milk for her own son . As time passes litte Girl become Healthier and her own son become too weak due to insufficient milk syndrome , which causes His death . This story placed you in shocked position, Writer do her best to describing even little details. There are many other interesting stories in “Guldan” If you wana read realistic stuff , you must have “Guldan” in your hands and Trust me you never get disappointed. Jazakillah