The world still remembers the horrors of 9/11 and the global impact of this tragedy. It altered the structure of society and effected a change in the psychology and behaviour of human beings.


Literary critic and author of six short story collections, Hameed Shahid has closely observed these changes in people's attitude over the past eight years and written about it in his latest collection of 50 Urdu short stories, Pachas Afsaney.


Dr Tauseef Tabassum's long essay, which appears as a preface should convince Hameed Shahid that he already has a place among the important short story writers of Pakistan.


The author has been labelled as a writer who has largely followed in the footsteps of Manto's technique. Manto was famous for attracting the attention of the readers and exposing his characters' psychology.


Shahid's stories make your heart sink with sentimentalism. Consider the story, Marg Zar, included in the collection.


It records the transformation in the subcontinent's social behaviour after 9/11, even though the story is ostensibly about a soldier's attachment to his country, and how his death plunges his family in woe and sorrow. The tears that well up in the eyes of the mother cease abruptly. Iftikhar Arif, former chairman, Pakistan Academy of Letters, has called this story as a portrayal of the after-effects of 9/11 on our social structure.


The story Sworg main Suuar (Pigs found in paradise) is replete with references to peanuts, stray dogs and deaths of goats; all these words having found currency in every day lingo after Sept. 11. Thus there are quite a few things to be said in favour of the lingo and similes the writer has used, 'We often felt the trick of the use of stylistic language throughout the book.'


The prominent short story writer Mansha Yad says that Hameed Shahid has experimented with diction and technique and in this way given something new to Urdu fiction.


— Jonaid Iqbal

 

Pachas Afsaney
By Muhammad
Hameed Shahid
Selection by
Dr Tauseef Tabassum
Poorab Academy, Islamabad
Rs550

Opinion

Hoping for miracles
Updated 26 Sep 2021

Hoping for miracles

Pakistan will be exposed to international recrimination if the Taliban revert to their old ways.

Editorial

Updated 26 Sep 2021

Intransigent Taliban

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has delivered an effective speech at the UN General Assembly session detailing the salient...
26 Sep 2021

Deadly misinformation

THE distinction between ‘fake’ and ‘authentic’ news is now a concept impossible to escape. In an...
26 Sep 2021

Covid arrests

THE unilateral decision taken by Karachi’s East Zone police to arrest citizens without Covid vaccination cards ...
25 Sep 2021

NAB controversy

THE completion of the four-year term of NAB chairman Javed Iqbal early next month has afforded Prime Minister Imran...
Cabinet ‘inclusivity’
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Cabinet ‘inclusivity’

Voices are being raised questioning when the much-hyped inclusivity the group had talked about will materialise.
25 Sep 2021

Quorum malady

LACK of quorum has become a chronic problem for the present National Assembly which is in the process of becoming a...