Education, Development, and Change
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Friday, April 9, 2010

Spread the word

IT takes an educationist to know an educationist. Shahid Siddiqui’s earlier book Rethinking Education in Pakistan is now followed by a novel which has all the trappings of an educational setting — college campus, hostel life, educational conferences and a professor-student relationship. What is more relevant is the contemporary setting of the story which relates to recent events in the country.

The background is provided by the civil activists’ movement for the restoration of an independent judiciary, a noble and democratic cause which reflects the independent thinking at a university campus. Universities are meant to produce enlightened individuals but this can only be achieved if students are given a free hand to develop and challenge their own thought processes and that of others.

Professor Roy’s role in upholding a just cause and persistently dedicating his life to ensure its success is an example of selfless commitment to his progressive mind.

The central character of the story is Professor Saharan Roy whose exceptional personality is built up through a fascinating matrix of other characters their interactions with him.

The link between society, governance, justice and education of the masses is a theme that runs throughout the book.

The character of the professor is slowly but vividly built up by his ex-students and their reminiscing; what emerges is an inspirational figure who is an ideal university professor.

Roy arrives to spend a night at a college hostel and there meets a student, Imtisal, who finally finds someone to share her intellectual bent of mind.

The suspense builds up through a student’s quest for a mentor and the passing on of a professor’s dream to a student to carry on the noble task of being a contributor to the education of the poor.

Shahid Siddiqui has used language in a contemporary mode in order to give credence to a story which is meant to add to the literature on education that is available in the country.

The novel is an exposition of the language spoken by students these days which is Urdu with a heavy dose of English words; although for the reader it is often difficult to read English words written in Urdu. However, the style is succinct and the philosophical underpinnings are priceless in their depth and motivation for a brighter future in educating the public at large.

Moreover, the quick-paced story keeps the reader involved right up to its unexpected conclusion. Simultaneously, the link between society, governance, justice and education of the masses is a theme that runs throughout the book.

There are many gaps in our educational system which are highlighted in the book. For example, Professor Roy explains what makes a good teacher by using the imagery of a layered cake: the foundation is knowledge, the next layer is the appropriate way of imparting that knowledge, while the icing on the cake is the genuine interest in teaching creatively. Creativity leads to passion for the accumulation of knowledge by reading books extensively.

The outcome of this learning is the love that is the basis of all humanity. And Professor Roy’s philosophical rendering of that love means giving up one’s ego, position and experience — a lesson which is invaluable in the education of the young.

Furthermore, the book apprises the lay person about the latest trends in pedagogy and the importance of the affective domain in education.

In the realm of research it brings together many facets of what should be the direction of educational reform in the country. The author has made an imaginative stride in the ongoing campaign to give education its rightful parameters in the context of Pakistan.

Book: Aadhay Adhooray Khwab
Author: Dr Shahid Siddiqui
Published by Jahangir Books
Enterprise: 2009
Page: 176
Price: 250\
Buy online:


  1. I loved this novel which is used very effectively to convey the message that education is not only memorizing theories and laws but its application in the society is most important which is a total lack in our society. I would recommend it to all teachers, educators and persons interested in education, if they want to know what education actually is...


  2. Thanks for your comments. I am now planning to write on Wakhi language. Do you speak wakhi? can you suggest me some useful refernces? or work already done? or somebody who has interest in it.
    Warm regards
    My email is


  3. Since I have read this novel I have been interested in the meaningful, critical and vibrant education. Besides the main theme of education this novelette has touched on various other themes like personalization of politics, injustice, gender discrimination, teacher exploitation, etc. Above all the style of writing is unique, superb and novel for this form of novelette. It has given a new taste to our tongues. Hope Dr Shahid would keep providing us such master pieces.

  4. Thanks for your positive comments. I really appreciate you brief but comprehensive feedback and for your kind appreciation. "Adhe Adhoore Khawab", was my first and (perhaps)last book in Urdu. To tell you the truth even if I decide to write one in future I wont be able to do that. I hope I am not disappointing you.

  5. The best novel I have ever red is “Adhe Adhoore Khawab”. I do not have words to express how I felt after reading it. I have found it a complete novel, vivid expressions, covers education and its application, spotlight on nature by depicting natural scenes very artistically, element of affections with the mix of respect, transformation of dreams from one generation to another - leaving lasting impression on the reader.

    I have a privilege that I read it before its printing. Dr Sahid Siddique is an educationist, so being an educationist he has successful conveyed his message to readers through his novel “Adhe Adhoore Khawab” that education has its problems which can only be resolved if every teachers are motivated to play their actual role.

    Safina Joseph
    Humanities and Social Sciences Department

  6. Safina,

    thanks so much for your comments and let me express my gratitude for your help in word processing the novel. Since writing of this novel till its publication there was a series of events which made it happen. I was not sure who to ask for Urdu typing. Your helping hand in it was such an event. Thanks once again for your help. Best wishes

  7. ‘Adhe Adhory Khawab’ has reinforced my perceptions as a teacher. A teacher’s role is not confined to a classroom but the whole world becomes a part of his/her classroom. Theories, approaches, methodologies and techniques of teachings are useless unless we put them into practice through our thinking patterns and actions, within and outside the classroom. What I have learnt from this novel is that a teacher converts dreams to reality and this process should continue. These dreams include social justice, personality grooming, politics and teacher education, etc. This novel has given new dimensions to my personal and professional life. I would like to suggest that this novel should be a part of the curriculum in all the teacher development programmes.

  8. Umar: Thanks for your very comprehensive remarks. I tried to discuss education in a story like form. I am glad that you found the novel relevant to you and classroom practitioners. regards sahhid