Thursday 1 May 2014


4 years back, I read this Urdu Novel : Tair e Lahooti.  ( It was later televised and was moderately successful)
The title is inspired from Poetry of the revolutionary poet Allama Iqbal
''Ay Tair-e-Lahooti , us rizzq se maut achi
Jiss rizq se aati ho parwaz mein kotahi''
( Oh, you bird of high stature, the food that makes your slack in your flight should have death preferred to it )

Now what happens!

Basically, a street criminal kidnaps a girl he loves , she meets a woman (amma ji) who tells her to be content with what life has given her and when she calls back at her home pleading to be rescued, she is told to 'compromise' to save the honor of her family. 

In a parallel plot, there is a rich family. There are two sons, the elder one rapes his maid one day. He is the 'hero' of the story. And the writer Riffat Siraj , actually takes it further. She justifies his actions by calling them an outcome of an 'uncontrollable urge'' that later shamed the good man that he was (by the way the poor maid was a child who happened to be sleeping in his room at that time) . Later on , the love child which is a result of this forced union, is accepted by that guy and his new wife who used to be a tomboy in her earlier life, but was subsequently 'tamed' after marriage and ( surprise, surprise!)  developed 'feelings' for her 'distant and rough husband' who kind of rapes her too. (but since marital rape is commonly romanticized by these writers, it doesn't count as crime)

The story ends on the glorious note of the kidnapped girl accepting her husband- yes, the one who KIDNAPPED her from the streets just like that. A possible conclusion that other readers derived was that had the girl covered herself properly , she wouldn't have attracted the wrong kind of attention and would not have been kidnapped ( I don't put it past the writer to be conveying this message. No, I definitely don't put it past a writer who talks of rape in a soft, justifying tone )
and the RAPIST ends up leading a happily married life with the tomboy-turned-naik parveen whose heart skips beats at remotest possibility of a physical contact with her rapist husband, and his illegitimate child from a poor maid he raped. 

The underlying message , well not really 'underlying' as it was the focal point of the whole story was that how a woman should be a 'satti-savitri' , untouched bud, the covered lollypop attracting no flies, while men around her go around kidnapping and raping girls. She is supposed to compromise and maintain her grace because 'Aurat ko yehi zaib deta hai' (as is appropriate for women)

It makes me realize how PEN is such a dangerous tool in hand of a wrong person.

(Apology to the soul of Iqbal)