The event started at 6:15 pm and after introductions the theme and story of the book came under discussion. Manal excitedly told about her inspiration for the story and how she missed Karachi when she moved to USA after marriage. The story took about 4 years to complete and it was a slow process where she took regular breaks, returning to the story and re-editing the draft as it progressed.
It's a story about Karachi (not named outright) and a circus, of family relations and marriages where the protagonists Adnan and Reena (husband and wife) live the way Karachittes do. Their stories, interspersed with the way a circus functions, have all the glitter and gold in front but darker realities behind the scenes ... marriage that goes very, very wrong but doesn't appear that way from outside.
Manal read a few passages from the story, giving the audience a taste of crisp writing, real-life characters and their thoughts while facing challenges of life. The Q&A session was a light hearted affair with playful jibes both by the author and audience members over the marriage topic.
Tags: Desi Writers Lounge, Liberty Books, Magic Within, Manal Shakir