A compilation of 17 short stories

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Amjad Parvez

Lending one’s ears to somebody is a great quality in a human being. It reminds this reviewer of the expression “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” from William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”. Simply it means ‘listen to me’. Well that is the quality Jawwad’s maamu had in Jawwad’s first short story namely Dard Ashna from his short stories book Boorhi Kahani. This reviewer knows Jawwad as a profound classical vocalist who learnt the intricacies of this form of art from Ustad Salim Hussain and Ustad Parvez Paras, as a philosophy teacher and an active participant of Halqa Arbab-e-Zauq. He carries out work in all his three passions with grace. In the story, Jawwad quotes many incidences where his uncle lends his ears to many people who come across him, whether it is an old man in a bus or Jawwad himself. Jawwad always felt uncomfortable when to all his woes he used to get a response in the form of a smile. His complaint is addressed when Jawwad’s father died and his uncle lent him ears for a couple of hours and his silence on the other end of the phone had meant a deep understanding of his nephew’s sorrows. This brings this reviewer to the concept of friendship among old and young. While looking at the reason and benefits accrued there from, Anna Kudak, co-author of What Happy Women Do states “Bridging the generation gap not only increases the friend pool, but it also expands and supports mental well-being. Friendships with older and younger people help broaden your perspective, which in turn allows you to have compassion and empathy in your day-to-day life.” Perhaps that is the relationship the uncle-nephew enjoyed in the story.

The friendship however between Javed and Kamal in the story ‘Kamal’ created turmoil in Javed. Javed felt that after meeting Kamal and entering into repeated philosophical discussions with him, his inner-self had become victim of breaking. Javed felt that his job and career as a lawyer was in jeopardy. This was a strange bond that remained open ended. Perhaps this story demonstrated Jawwad’s command over philosophy, a subject he has M. Phil. in and presently studying for doctorate programme at PU. Philosophy is way of life for Jawwad. He takes everything in the world from philosophical angle. He takes music as a philosophy. His short stories have philosophical angles attached to them. His short story ‘Qaid’ is a typical example where he discusses an individual’s introvert tendencies.

The story title ‘Aadat’ pertains to two issues; escape from quarrels with wife, finding refuge in library and two, generation gap. The young generation does not understand the beliefs of the older generation and the aging wife does not give congenial atmosphere to her husband to stay at home. At this age the children also side with their mothers. The third story ‘Boorhi Kahani’ is an eye opener for an old couple who did not have any off-shoots or perhaps did not try for one when young. The life passed till one fine day the husband spotted his wife taking deep breaths on the side of the footpath, perhaps tired of running a household errand. He returns home, looks at mirror himself and then at his wife’s grey hair and wrinkles. It is a late realization that the couple was issueless, being an average household story but somewhere it lacks convincing and raises questions as to why realization did not occur earlier. Nowadays many medical solutions are available or the option of adoptions has resolved this problem of many couples in the world.

Gregory is the name of one of Jawwad’s stories. It reminded him as well as this reviewer of Gregory Peck of the movies “Roman Holiday” and “To kill a mocking bird”. Saleem meets a guy of this name in the Lawrence Gardens. Both have age difference, one 25 and the other 42, the latter believing in attracting opposite gender by his looks rather than vice versa. He also is in habit of borrowing money and spends his life in accepting minor roles in television dramas. After a long time when both meet again after Gregory has returned from Karachi, Saleem finds him old and he draws a parallel of a character of the famous novel Crime and Punishment with Gregory. The latter admits that he destroyed his life by deceiving others and in return deceiving himself.

Jawwad has no dearth of topics. He writes a story titled ‘Safar’ in the shape of a letter of a friend from abroad where his involvement with a girl Elizabeth who is frank and modern woman with whom it was not possible to live forever. The decision to stay or not to stay leaves him double minded.

Boorhi Kahani
By Muhammad Jawwad
Sanjh Publications, Lahore;
Pp 95; Rs 200

Amjad Parvez , ” A compilation of 17 short stories ,” in Daily Times, July 6, 2015. Accessed on July 7, 2015, at: http://dailytimes.com.pk/entertainment/06-Jul-2015/a-compilation-of-17-short-stories

The item above written by Amjad Parvez and published in Daily Times on July 6, 2015, is catalogued here in full by Faiz-e-Zabaan for non-profit educational purpose only. Faiz-e-Zabaan neither claims the ownership nor the authorship of this item. The link to the original source accessed on July 7, 2015, is available here. Faiz-e-Zabaan is not responsible for the content of the external websites.

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