Friday, June 20, 2008

A case of exploding tongues

Apologies again, I have been away, travelling. You might have already guessed that seeing my two earlier posts: photos and a video. If you did not, no worries. Here I am.

Recently, while surfing the net, I was delighted to note that Pakistan (or UK) has given birth to another novelist (in English). This is Mohammad Hanif. His novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, has been reviewed here by William Dalrymple.

I was delighted because I happen to know Mohd Hanif--but in a twisted way (I am sure he would have forgotten it all--no one's fault). He is with BBC Urdu and if you watch BBC World, sometimes he appears with his comments on Pakistani issues. This was several years ago when I was still in India. I appeared for a test for BBC Urdu Radio and cleared a few rounds of the process. My final interview was with Mr Hanif and another gentleman who was English.

As luck would have it, I never made the final cut, primarily perhaps because at that time I did not have any newspaper or radio experience. Since then, as you might have noted, my career has taken a different turn. Perhaps I was never meant to be a Urdu journalist despite my love for the language (I love both the languages--Urdu poetry and English fiction).

But I never forgot my interviewer, Mr Hanif (I never forget anyone I've met).

So, when I read about his novel's release, I was quite pleased. The review sounds good and I look forward to reading his novel. Do let me know if you happen to read his book. Here are excerpts from Dalryple's review:

Highly praised by, among others, John Le Carre, A Case of Exploding Mangoes is quite unlike anything recently published this side of the border, and throws the gauntlet down to a new generation of Indian writers. For the first time in this part of Asia, there is now serious competition out there.



Suzan Abrams said...

Hi Zaf,
Am in London at the moment.
Indeed, you are right.
Mr. Hanif is gettting a lot of attention for his novel A Case of Exploding Mangoes. His, is the only multi-cultural novel at the moment that's making for all the prominent window-store displays. Next to Rushdie, that is.
I've just purchased the book and so love its vibrant cover.


monideepa sahu said...

So much new writing to look forward to. What a wonderful debut.