DWL Karachi Meetup June 2015
Book Club Meetup / June 10, 2015

Desi Writers Lounge met on 5th June 2015 for its monthly meetup at Liberty Books. The book under discussion was Bina Shah’s “Season of the Martyrs“, a recent addition to Pakistani fiction that deals (for the first time) the events of Benazir Bhutto’s return to Pakistan and her subsequent assassination. A couple of new faces joined the meetup as Farheen took the lead to initiate the discussion, briefly talking about the various characters introduced by the author and how parallels have been drawn between the present and the past of Sindh. The Sufi aspect of the book was discussed, concentrating on stories like those of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, and the life of the main protagonist Ali Sikander as he experiences his disdain of politics with Benazir’s return. Some argued that Ali’s life made little sense as there was too much going on for him. Being in media and having a Hindu girlfriend, many aspects of his life seemed unrealistic. Some parts of the story such as Ali’s experiences of US Consulate and French Beach drew criticism, all the while praising for prose that described the story. Jalal was of the opinion that despite excellent prose, the story has too…

TRA Meetup May 2015
Book Club Meetup / June 2, 2015

The Readers’ Avenue met on 31st May 2015 at Dolmen City Mall food court. This meetup was long due as the April meetup was canceled because of certain reasons. New faces were seen this time as a few members, who only participated at the Facebook group, attended the session and shared their thoughts and ideas. Starting around 12 instead of 11:30 am as planned (coffee and donuts from Munir since it was his birthday), the new members introduced themselves and their reading preferences. Rather than choosing a book for this session, members were instructed to bring books they were reading and recommend some works for the club to read for next meetup. Sahar Shahid was the first to introduce (it was her first session) and her recommendations included “The Holy Woman” and “The Pearl That Broke Its Shell“. Her description for both the books was animated and it they sounded fascinating to reads Similarly, Aimen (another new member) shared her recommendation “One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories“, a story collection from one of the writers of the hit comedy sitcom The Office. Irfan Burney shared two recommendations, Brom Stoker’s Dracula and Osman Samiuddin’s “The Unquite Ones“. Fahad Zaki shared a…

TRA Meetup March 2015
Book Club Meetup / March 22, 2015

The Readers’ Avenue (TRA) met on 21st March 2015 at Karachi Youth Support Network (KYSN). It was first meetup at KYSN made possible by support from Sarah Ahmed. The book under discussion was Aitzaz Ahsan’s The Indus Saga (Jamhoori Publications Edition). The meetup was attended members of KYSN as well who asked some pointed questions during and towards the end of the session. N.B. Review of The Indus Saga will be available on Digital Saeen in next few days. Starting around 5 pm, Munir introduced the book to audience that included reference to Aitzaz Ahsan’s recent public talks during Sufi Festival and Karachi Literature Festival … both times Aitzaz talked about the history of Indus and Indus person. Munir argued that, while the book gives a historical view of Indus that feels like a deliberate attempt at justifying Pakistan’s creation by using historical and cultural distinctions, it is a very good book because it is far better than the distorted history taught in the name of Pakistan Studies. Some people would even agree with Aitzaz because his arguments make sense, largely because the official history teaches us nothing before 1947 and briefly mention Moenjo Daro and Harappa. Why areas constituting…

DWL Karachi Meetup March 2015
Book Club Meetup / March 14, 2015

Karachi chapter of Desi Writers Lounge met at Liberty Books BBQ Tonight outlet on Friday, 13th March, to discuss Laurent Gayer’s book Karachi: Ordered Disorder and the Struggle for the City.

TRA Meetup January 2015
Book Club Meetup / February 1, 2015

The Readers’ Avenue, a growing family of book lovers in Karachi, met on 31st January to discuss Philippa Gregory’s “The White Queen“. Suggested by Kiran Bashir, the book captivated most participants and nearly everyone in attendance had read the book. Some members had even progressed further in the series by reading its sequel The Red Queen and subsequent novels. Everyone agreed that Philippa had masterly told the life of a queen in medieval England and Kiran, who has now become an authority on British History in the group, kept a running commentary of the intricacies of English royalty and history. The fate of two boys of Queen Elizabeth, Edward and Richard, were deeply discussed and Munir (who still needed to read the last 100 pages) ended up asking for the ending. It took three members to link each event right till the end to reveal the book ending which led to a new cycle of confusion since half the members had read sequels and they often had to backtrack to stay on The White Queen. One debate between Kiran and Jamal/Wasio was the description of the English society. Jamal and Wasio argued that they didn’t feel surroundings and couldn’t connect…