KARACHI: “Kia baat hai, wah kia kehnay,” responded the audience, cherishing the launch of three Urdu and English books.
Zaheda Hina launched All Passion Spent, the English translation of her book Na Jugnu Raha na Pari Rahi, the content of which captures old Karachi, the drama of partition and the Parsis. Hassan Manzar launched Nadidi and awed the audience after reading an excerpt from his upcoming book, the name of which he kept from disclosing till the last - Sajda. He described a frail, old woman in a new city who is cornered by a crowd under the suspicion of being a non-Muslim as she was seen bowing to a stone.
The woman, who was Muslim, was gripped by such fear that she could not explain to the mob that she was actually praying in the middle of the road and had kept the stone as a barrier from passers-by. She was killed. And the audience listening to Manzar was touched by the sensitivity and style of the narration and the hall rang out with applause.
Dr Aslam Farrukhi lightened the mood by his witty character sketches from Saat Aasman. The difficult Urdu words were arranged in such a manner that the narrative was pleasing to hear and comical in meaning. His style of narration was so captivating that a few people from the crowd stood up to suggest that he record a DVD of the book.
As all three writers presented their books to Intizar Hussain who praised their individual writing openheartedly, the crowd rushed to buy copies, have them signed and make a memorable addition to their collection.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2011.
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