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Saturday, December 13, 2008

COLUMN: Ink Paper Think By Asif Farrukhi and Sehba Sarwar

Poetry is the ‘new found land’ for writer Razia Fasih Ahmad and her latest book is Qafas Zad, a collection of verses, followed by a collection of humourous articles. For diehard readers like yours truly, this indefatigable and versatile writer’s forte is the novel. This is the tenacious opening of our conversation one warm evening in Karachi where she is back for a short trip from her home in the US. As she talks about her two new novels and recent book launches, I can see that she is not one for sitting back contentedly on her laurels but rather feels the need to move on. An English version of her magnum opus Sadiyon Ki Zanjeer is now prescribed reading in an American university and Zakhm-i-Tanhai based on the lives of the Bronte sisters was launched a few months back in Karachi.

From newly released books she moves cautiously to talk about that work in progress. ‘I am writing about the times of my mother. It was common for women to have nine or 10 children and there were few facilities. It is the story of an ordinary woman who bore the responsibility of everything in those days, maintaining the household, children’s education, clothes and things. People today do not know how their mothers lived and how they had to struggle. History should not be confined to the exploits of kings and emperors but we should make an effort to find out how ordinary men and women lived in those days. We should make an effort to tell the younger generation what we had to go through in 1947, what were the conditions of Karachi in those days. Parents have not told their children all this,’ she says emphatically...


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