Sunday, 25 December 2011

Ram Deen By Mumtaz Mufti - Review

Posted by Muhammed Khan on 09:49 0 comments

Ram Deen By Mumtaz Mufti - Review
Well! Mumtaz Mufti's Ram Deen (Urdu) is going to be my first Urdu book about which I'm going to  review on this blog. I've read more Urdu books than English but ironically this is going to be my first review of any book written in the language in which I talk, listen, feel, think and dream.

Ram Deen is a famous (and of course my favorite) work of Mumtaz Mufti which is divided into 21 sections/chapters. Still I couldn't reach to a conclusion whether its a complete fiction or the author has stated some exaggerated facts which is quite normal for the writers in order to come up with more inspiring and interesting output.

"Ram Deen" can be truly regarded as a book which played a great role in changing my views about Pakistan. In fact I'd always thought that the creation of Pakistan is not for without any purpose and one day for sure it will achieve its destiny even though it still seems to be a long way through.

The 21 different chapters can be regarded as essays, short stories e.t.c both fictional and non fictional. Ram Deen, being the very first chapter of the book, seems like a gibe to all those people especially the Muslims and / or those secular minded people of the sub continent who believe that they would have been in a position, much better off, had there been no separation in 1947.

If you have even a faintest idea of the names of the people used in the South East Asian part, or to be more precise, in the sub continent, then you would easily figure out the weirdness in the name Ram Deen. It's a mixture of both Hindu and Muslim names and these two names are not referring to two persons but a single character. A Muslim, who with a passage of time has amalgamated his name with a Hindu name as a result of the cultural and religious influence. Metaphorically speaking, the name of the person also depicts the culture, life style and therefore, the religious views of the Muslims especially living in the Hindu dominated regions during pre-partition era. I'm sure that this is still valid even today.

So the title of the book is based on the book's very first chapter and the same chapter, not entirely though, but more or less is a reflection of the complete theme of the entire book.

Although there are few chapters on relatively different topics but the book mainly revolves around the concept of the spiritual necessity of the Muslims of the sub continent in striving for Pakistan and that why the creation of Pakistan was necessary for the Muslims, politically, religiously, socially and economically.

I would love to go further in detail about this but this would sway us away from the book. So coming back to it, it's been written in fairly simple language which of course typical to Mumtaz Mufti as he doesn't like to make the lives of the readers hard. Secondly, the writer has metaphorically characterized the people and as I said that even after reading the entire book, I'm not quite sure that whether the incidents explained are fictional or actual but yet you'd find them interesting to read.

The last five chapters are a travelogue about a journey that the writer had with his bunch of friends in the Northern and other areas of Pakistan. The most interesting thing about these travelogue are the names of the characters that Mumtaz Mufti has used to refer to the people (his friends actually) in the whole journey. Some of them are, "Dastaan Go" which means "Story Teller" in English, "Leader", "Engineer", "Poet"  e.t.c. So these are the interesting names of the characters in the last five chapters of "Ram Deen".

There's even a homage paid through this book to a folk singer, Tufail Niazi and besides this, there are two chapters that I believe to be worth reading. These are, "Pakistan" and "Jae Panah Se Jae Imtiaz Tak".  These two has got some really inspirational incidents which are surely going to electrify you.

You can easily read the entire book in just one go as the volume is not so great and secondly, Raam Deen is so interesting that you will hardly want to do anything else when reading it. The single book is a cocktail of different colors. Its philosophical, slightly humorous and didactic as well at the same time.

So if you are looking forward to have a good read this weekend, Ram Deen can be an awesome choice. It's  also available online but I wouldn't recommend it until you have a good, portable, hand size e-book reader as I've my own reservations with reading through the monitor screen.


Sunday, 4 December 2011

Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol Review

Posted by Muhammed Khan on 03:48 0 comments

The Lost Symbol Review - Dan Brown

At last, I'm done reading Dan Brown's new Novel, The Lost Symbol. It's been quite a while since I last published a review however since I've read the book entirely, I feel safe to express my opinion on it.

When I picked this book, I was expecting the same material as I had read in other Dan Brown books as the title and the image (of US Capitol building and the symbolic Free Masonry Key) on the main page tells you a lot about what's the content's going to be within and believe me as far as something new is concerned relative to other Dan Brown's novels,  The lost symbol is not going to startle you. It's the same Robert Langdon, the same mystery solving journey, deciphering the codes, understanding the signs obscured in the masterpiece paintings of the legends, a pretty, decent and genius woman for whom Dan Brown renders his duties as an intelligent bodyguard,  an ingenious villain who keeps dominating till the end until everything goes wrong for him at the very last moment   e.t.c.

Equipped with untold mysteries revolving around Washington D.C, Dan Brown has very cleverly plotted and revealed these intriguing mysteries in the entire book. Whenever I read Dan Brown's books, one thing I admire most is the way he places and then maneuvers his characters so expertly that a reader does not feel that any character has been dragged to a certain position or have been forcefully pushed into a particular situation. It all appears so natural.

The Lost Symbol  is the story of a person, Malakh who tries to reach to the famous hidden Free Masonic's Lost Symbol allegedly considered to be buried somewhere in the Washington D.C by the founding forefathers of the modern United States Of America (Who were Free Masons Themselves) and supposedly withholds enormous powers that any human being has hardly borne. The job of  Robert Langdon eventually turns out to stop Malakh when he finds himself ensnared in a situation carefully plotted by Malakh himself . The word "Symbol" here is purely a symbolic and allegoric according to Dan Brown and he claims that the presence of a buried symbol somewhere in US Capital is no fiction at all.

In the whole novel, Malakh manages to get his hands on a leverage by abducting an influential person in the society named as Peter Solomon, a close and dearest friend of Robert Langdon who holds the highest position in the Free Masonic brotherhood as well.

Another main character in this novel is of Katherine Solomon, sister of Peter Solomon who is a genius scientist and recently has made some ground breaking discoveries in the freshly discovered field of Noetic Sciences.

For many folks, the term Noetic Sciences sounds to be new and it actually is. I'm not going to start a lecture about this field in order to explain it at least in this it is going to take something a lot larger than a snippet from a post to explain it but believe me, Noetic Sciences has gained some popularity after the release of The Lost Symbol. In short, Noetic Science is attempting to create a bridge between religion and science which until recently were considered as non compatible simultaneously.. 

Dan Brown, in this book has tried to advocate and support the existence of the Secret Society of Free Masons Brotherhood and considers that this notorious dark group with weird practices has been immensely misunderstood by the masses. Dan Brown, through Robert Langdon has tried to reply back to all the misconceptions (according to him) revolving around Free Masons Society.

Apart from appreciation, this book has received some criticisms as well which I consider is essential. Many believe that you have to digest the unnecessary situations which have been forcefully created so as to drag the scenario to any conclusion which I consider is not correct. However, I although believe that unnaturally, all the characters in this novel (and other novels of Dan Brown as well) are bunch of "BAD ASSES" in their respective fields. They're all geniuses, know everything and hardly ever say "I Don't Know" which again I consider is quite unnatural.

Published and released on September 15, 2009 the book managed to sell over 6.5 million copies alone in the American continents in its first printing. Definitely sounds like a blockbuster hit. The version that I read comprises of 505 easy to go through normal sized pages.

I'd recommend you to read this novel. The best thing about Dan Brown's books are that they'd compel you to do some research from your part and for sure you'd keep guessing while reading the novel that which part is fact and which one is fiction and I also from time to time keep googling about the phrases, events, characters and the stories about the paintings and other artifacts discussed in this book and believed to contain some hidden codes, secrets and messages.

In short, "Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol is going to intrigue you".