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Khel Tamasha / کھیل تماشا by Ashfaq Ahmed

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Sep 05, Momina Masood rated it really liked it Shelves: The cup of my thoughts was so fragile, that I fell into pieces like shattered glass. Many ships were wrecked in this storm; what is my little helpless boat in comparison? The waves destroyed my ship, neither good remained nor bad; free from myself, I tied my body to a raft.

Now, I am neither up nor down–no this is not a fair description; I am up on a wave one instant, and down under another the next.

I am not aware of my existence. I know only this: It is a simply story, really, and very characteristic of the writer, but the reading experience was slightly challenging for me.

I always admit that my Urdu is not as perfect as it should be a shame, ahmrd it’s my native tonguebut the problem was intensified by the interspersed use of Hindi and Punjabi words as many characters in this book are of Hindu and Sikh background. And what ahmde reading this book weirder still is how sometimes nonchalantly Ashfaq sir would leave all literariness aside and start talking in colloquialisms! I seriously have no idea where to put this book in terms of prose style!

Leaving all that aside, I think the most significant thing about this book is its courage to talk about a very controversial kkhel which a lot of Muslim fundamentalists might find hard to tolerate: Say, if a loved one converted, what would you do?

What, for you, would be the right attitude to hy The first time I read a small compilation of Zaviait was Ashfaq sir’s utter religious tolerance and humanism that won him my admiration, and it is something which struck me quite deep here as well.


Guruji’s conversion to Sikhism might, after all, be a facade xhmed he might have transcended all demarcations and boundaries; he might have, as the spiritualists call it, attained mukti.

And perhaps, this is the entire point of this book. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense. The ineffable cannot be expressed, anyway, and the incomprehensible can never be understood.

There is quite an influence of Western existentialists in the last some chapters of this book but not quite enough to categorize either the narrator or Sangal Shah as one of them.

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And talking about the latter, I believe his character was the only one with whom I could identify, especially during his last “transformation”. This is another thing with Ashfaq sir’s books: All in all, a beautiful, sincere and endearing book which kind of starts like a cliched song but gains its poetry as it progresses.

Ashfaq sir also traces the political upheavals marking the partition of the Indian subcontinent to the separation of East Pakistan and finally to the Second Democratic Era of the 70s, and ends his book in the kheel peaks of war-stricken Afghanistan.

A fantastic journey, wouldn’t you say? Commentaries on democracy, religion, spirituality, materialism, and every other thing you can think about are thrown in between chapters, ahmex at no place read like diatribes but as witty and meaningful pieces of insight. It never gets tiresome reading him even when he’s talking about the most tiresome of subjects!

Khel Tamasha / کھیل تماشا

Everyone who has read or watched Ashtaq would be perfectly aware of this. Khair, ye kitaab parhne ke baad mujhe ehsaas hua ke Urdu ki kitaabein waktan fawatkan parhte rehna chaahiye.

Angrezon ko parh parh ke waise ajeeb sa accha bhi aymed hai apni zubaan, apni tehzeeb, apne mazhab aur apne logon ke baare mein parh ke. Ashfaq sir ka kaafi zyaada level hai; Allah Ta’ala unhe apne aamaan mein rakhein hamesha! Recommended only to ahmer who can appreciate khell journey, and can realize what it is all about, and not get too distracted by its subtle divergence from dogma.

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