This book has unearthed the hidden patterns of political psyche which were always conceived as myths, in our society. It is a work of the renowned bilingual poet of Pakistan, Harris Khalique. The sweetness and the kindness of the author can be felt by the reader, throughout the text. Sometimes the despair has dominated and screamed from his dialogue, when he described the sufferings of a common people. However, sometimes the pages are rejoiced with the kindled hope, when he encouraged us to close the doors of bitterness and intolerance.
Khalique’s work is comprised of four long essays. 1.Blood, 2.Sweat, 3.Tears & 4.Ink….. All are interconnected with the different flavors of struggle, suffering and creativity.
He has unfolded the mysteries of 1971 cataclysmic disaster. He tried to mold the foul frequencies of our lenses, through which we see that tragic event and dragged us toward the realm of reality; where he tried to mitigate the illusion in which we dwell. The writer flavored his arguments with the book of Ayub khan’s biography, Friends not masters, where Ayub had severely criticized and ridiculed his own countrymen (Bengalis) in 1960’s. They were portrayed as impure with the touch of Hindu culture. Along with social, economical, psychological and physical torture, the ridiculous comments by the President of their own country, where they were in majority, were totally absurd to think about. Moreover, the writer has tried to close the gap of hatred and bitterness for Bengalis. He encouraged us to learn from the wounded states of World war 2, who have evaporated their grief, sorrow and anger with the lapse of time. Now they have risen in the arena of world.
Moreover, moving toward the realm of religious intolerance, he reminded us that Turkey, Egypt and Jordan have full diplomatic ties with Jews of Israel. He crushed the ideology that Hindus and Jews are teaming up to crush Muslims. He cleaned the blurred screen from our eyes and tried to show us that how much the lenses of other Islamic states are changed from ours when we judge India on the basis of religion. It is purely the hatred of partition we are carrying forward not the religion, he emphasized.
Furthermore, by the agenda of no more lies and no more running, Khalique quoted the 2005 speech of Air Marshal retd. , where he accepted that the war of 1965 was miscalculated. That was planned for self-glory not for national interest.
He also tried to tell the untold tale of the sufferings which were endured by the generation of Pakistani idealists. Their revolutionary minds were crushed. The tragedy of torture and the sickness of suffering was told. Irony of the situation is that the victims were totally unsung and not known.
Further deep in the text, the writer had chosen five miserable women and their gloomy stories. He discussed the story of each unfortunate woman and told the cause by condemning the government’s sluggish policies, their attitude and foul plans and objectives. In short, he clarified that all the social, economic, emotional and physical abuses were not initiated by extremists or terrorist, but by the government itself.
In last, he praised the prestige of poetry. He described its power to heal. He said that the wounds can only be healed by the poetry of Amrita Preetam and the fiction of Saadat Hasan Manto, who have converted ‘Hindu suffering’ into ‘Human suffering’ and ‘Muslim tragedy’ into ‘Human tragedy’. It means he encouraged the tolerance to be prevailed. He provided examples to live in harmony with different sects and religions. He taught us that how moving on, leaving the past far behind and looking for the new opportunities without any bitterness and hatred will create the prosperity in all three pieces of subcontinent; Pakistan, India and Bangladesh..
QUOTES AND PHRASES FROM THE BOOK:
- We live in an age where fiction is written in haste and sold in abundance.
- Great patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonourably, foolishly and viciously.
- It is because of art and creativity in Pakistan that hope refuses to sink in the deluge of sorrow.
- A myth cannot be challenged once the majority begins to accept it as the eternal truth.
- God is always on the side of bigger battalion.
- Battles can be won and lost, but no one wins or loses a war.
- The character of a person is more important than their ideology.
- Becoming one of the elite is the ultimate dream of a middle-class.
- Each night when I lie down in my bed, an infernal sleep accompanied by a series of nightmares begins (quoted while glancing at the violent condition of Pakistan)
- In Pakistan, English is the language that brings power, prosperity, privilege, and prestige.
- A normal human being without power or pelf has the potential to become a beast in certain circumstances.
- Mediocrity is promoted by creating a ‘conspiracy of noise’ in its favor and genius is suppressed by hatching a ‘conspiracy of silence’ against it.
- As events impact nations, words impact individuals.