A metaphor for women’s social roles

“Sand in the Castle” was a metaphor for women taking up roles based on their relationship to the male guardian.


Sonia Malik February 09, 2011

LAHORE: “Sand in the Castle” was a metaphor for women taking up different roles based on their relationship to the male guardian, said Professor Shafaat referring to the title of Syrrina Haque’s debut book.

He was speaking at the launching of the book at Kinnaird College’s Hadia Hall on Tuesday.

Shafaat, who teaches English literature at KC, said the ‘castle’ signified a woman’s body and the ‘sand’ various external influences that it absorbed and moulded.

The book is a collection of short stories about Pakistani women whose identity is shaped only in reference to their relationship with male guardians as they adapt to roles of wife, daughter, daughter-in-law and sister.

Syrrina Haque is a creative writing and literature professor at Kinnaird.

She said one of the stories, “As I ran”, was based on her personal experience of the Ojhri Camp disaster. She said the remaining stories were based on fictitious characters.

She also talked about the time she had spent at the KC as a student saying it was very conducive in her growth as a writer. She encouraged students in the audience to pursue their dreams. “I hope the day is not far when I see one of you publishing a book,” she said.

She said it took her over a year to ready the draft. However, she said, getting the book published was a daunting task. “Publishing houses in Pakistan do not encourage new writers,” she said. She said this was one reason she chose a foreign publisher. Besides, she said, this way she hoped to get a bigger readership.

The book has been published by Trafford Solution, a publishing house based in the United States.

Samrina Anwar, Haque’s former classmate, praised her effort as a writer. She said Haque had been very articulate even in her college days.

The event was organised by English Literary Society of the college. It lasted two hours.

The book is available at selected shops for Rs350.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2011.

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