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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adhe Adhoore Khawab: Review in Nation

Review of Dr Shahid Siddiqui's Nove 'Adhe Adhoore Khawab'
by Dr Shahida Mohiuddin

Dr Shahid Siddiqui’s Aadhay Adhooray Khwab is an interesting novel in Urdu language that engages the interest of the readers from the beginning till the end. Dr Rasheed Amjad, a famous short story writer and critic, comments in his review that ‘the story of the novel is so compelling that it makes us read it’. By writing this novel Dr Shahid has expanded the scope of Urdu literature. While reading Urdu literature one could read fine thoughts and beautiful imaginaries. But in this novel we witness the union of literature and education. In this sense Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik, a renowned critic of Urdu literature, rightly calls this novel as a ‘trend setter’ in Urdu literature.

Dr Shahid Siddiqui is a well known educationist of Pakistan. He has taught in prestigious institutions of Pakistan and knows the scenario of education in Pakistan very well. Therefore, when he wrote this novel it appeared in a unique and exemplary form which is like a mirror where readers could see the reflections of issues and problems of our daily life and education in a holistic form which has various dimensions. The author did not limit the concept of education and teaching to the classrooms but linked it with other important aspects of life as well. Education- as a field- primarily draws its content and approaches from varieties of fields of knowledge such as: philosophy, sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, management sciences and so forth and more recently emergence of fields such as cultural studies. In this global village one needs to understand education from multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary approach. Only then we can understand true meaning of education. In this regard this novel opens new vistas of understanding education from multi/interdisciplinary approach.

The most remarkable part of this novel is the writer’s narrative style which is highly creative and fascinating. Each chapter starts with a narration of an individual. Each individual as a student, teacher or worker has his/her own life and brings a colour of its own and meaning to this novel.

The writer, while presenting the scenes of novels, has demonstrated his creative and artistic skills at per excellence. He has successfully painted the pictures of various cities, villages and institutions of Pakistan.

The plot of this novel revolves around Professor Saharan Rae who is a competent, caring and humane professor who as a fatherly figure knows the psyche of his students. The various scenes of this novel demonstrate that his teaching did not limit to the classroom but to gardens, hostels and hotels. Due to his qualities he is very popular among his students and the groups of students whom he did not teach. Among them is Imtisal Aga who comes to the city from a rural area of Pakistan. Imtisal is one of the major characters of this novel. She is bold and works hard to bring positive change in her own life, her family and her village. Professor Sahran, while mentoring Imtisal, knows that he is not teaching a student but a class and thus created an interest in her to go back to her village and teach children. The dream of the professor comes true as Imtisal, after completing education, goes back to her village starts teaching in a local school.

The most amazing and interesting aspect of Profssor Saharan’s teaching is that it not only teaches theories and ideas covered in the books but also prepares his students for life, inspiring them to create dreams. It is said ‘The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book’. If all the teachers in Pakistan become dedicated and spend quality time with their students and through the use of variety of teaching methods to enhance the self esteem of their students then the situation of education in Pakistan would have been quite different. The novel makes us reflect what each of us can contribute in the development of education in Pakistan.
We live our life among our family, relatives and friends but among all these relationships the connection with teacher is unique. Professor Saharan plays vital role in students’ life by inspiring them to bring a social change and in the process gives his life and becomes immortal. It is said that “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires and is like a candle, that consumes itself to light the way for other"

Professor Saharan besides teaching also takes part in politics. He actively participated in the lawyers’ movement and finally dies voicing for human rights. This novel makes us reflect that education also means creating a civil society where students, teachers and all the members of society participate to create good governance. At the end of the novel professor is no more in this world but through his students he is everywhere.

This novel is strongly recommended foe teachers, students, and people who love literature. It is in Urdu and secondly it is all about cultural beauty and its diversity in Pakistan. The language of the novel is simple yet it has all the beauty of literary style. The feeling that it is our own story enhances our interest and involvement in the novel and that is the basic attribute of good literature.

Book: Aadhay Adhooray Khwab
Author: Dr Shahid Siddiqui
Published by Jahangir Books
Enterprise: 2009
Page: 176
Price: 250\
Buy online:
This article originally appeared in the daily Nation on Nov 15, 2009

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