Education, Development, and Change
Email Dr. Shahid Siddiqui

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Review: Adhe Adhoore Khawab

Adhey Adhoore Khawab – A Story of Shared Visions
Review by Sufia Sultana
Sufia Sultana
Whether you are a practicing teacher, teacher educator, social reformer, activist, a student or a reflective citizen, this book has been written for you.

Adhe Adhoore Khawab is a unique and heart-rending story, penned by Dr Shahid Siddiqui, a prominent educationist. The book is termed as a ‘trend-setter in Urdu literature’, by Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik, a renowned Urdu critic. The story begins with monologues of three major characters, Professor Saharan Raey, Imtisal Agha and Tassawur. The characters narrate their story in each chapter one after another and develop the plot in a unique fashion creating suspense for the reader, which is kept alive all through. The story is very forceful, captivating and interesting, so is the style of narration. The reader needs to open the first page, when the rest are read and turned, he does not know even.

Shared visions and dreams bring people closer, irrespective of socio-geographical distances and become the binding force between Prof Saharan Raey: an activist, and a passionate and sensitive soul, Imtisal Agha. Imtisal is not a direct student of Prof Raey, they meet in a dramatic style, as plotted by “The Celestine Prophecy”.

The plot revolves around a reflective, unorthodox and revolutionary Professor Raey, the protagonist of the novel; and individualistically unusual Imtisal Agha. Prof. Raey is the mouth piece of the author, who believes that education is not restricted to getting a degree and securing a better job. Rather it is a tool to bring a social change. It is education which can awaken any nation from slumber. Imtisal shares her views with Prof. Raey that she doesn’t believe in passive education rather envisions a vibrant and dynamic education.
The story, written in the background of lawyers’ movement in Pakistan, leaves a long-lasting impact on the readers, as they can identify themselves with the characters and the situations. Professor Raey’s imprisonment followed by torture is the most moving part of the story ending with a ray of hope as Imtisal takes on Professor Rai’s unfinished mission.

This novel is written in a unique style, easy conversational language and short pithy, often three to four words sentences, make it a master piece. In the history of Urdu literature, all those who tried didactic approach believing in art for life’s sake, have been very unrealistic and unattractive for the readers. The literature produced by this school of thought lacked the element of literary taste. The characters are either purely angelic or absolutely satanic in their nature. Contrarily, art for art’s sake, created life-like realistic, true and grey characters; but most of the time devoid of didactic element or social reformation.
Dr Siddiqui is an ardent believer of social reformation through literature and education; he writes in his article ‘Education and Social Justice’ published in the daily Dawn:

‘EDUCATION and society are considered to have an important relationship in which both inform, impact and transform each other. Education is viewed as a necessary condition for socio-economic development, emancipation and freedom; then there is its relationship with social justice’.
The novel demonstrates an incredible blend of aestheticism and didacticism. No novel of this amazing brevity could fulfill the needs and demands of two entirely different doctrines. This has been the forte of Dr Shahid Siddiqui’s writings that at no point ever his pen loses the artistic and literary beauties while instructing the values even. The novel covering the varied grave themes of education, politics, justice, coercion, gender discrimination, love, social change and agitation, etc., in a poetic style, interspersed with beautiful images from nature to minimize the severity. The images have been dexterously used as the agents to inform the upcoming changes.

If you are interested in pleasure reading, this novel is suggested; if you want to read a motivational, inspirational life-changing book you are recommended to go through it. Hence, whether you are a practicing teacher, teacher educator, social reformer, activist, a student or a reflective citizen, this book has been written for your.

Author: Dr Shahid Siddique
Published by Jahangir Books
Enterprise: 2009
Page: 176
Price: Rs.250/-
Buy online:


  1. A very good, succinct and comprehensive effort by Sufia. The way review is portrayed that clearly shows the efficiency and skill of writing possessed by the author. Dr Shahid with skillful clarity and competitiveness has questioned the existing educational system of our beloved country and also showed us way that how can we improve our education. Simultaneously, different reviews written by the knowledgeable and wise reviewers have also tried their best to make their voices reach at a stage where there should be an effective marriage of views; the views exhibited by Dr Shahid in Aadhe Adhore Khawab and in response to its reading written by different reviewers.
    I am thinking and Sufia and Dr Siddiqui can help me in making this thought in a practical shape, that why should we not make a serious academic effort to gather all the reviews, write them and then try to publish them.
    Once again well done Sofia.

  2. Thanks for your generous appraises Mr Bux! You are very right in suggesting to compile all the reflections and reviews written on the book. I'm ever there to help Dr Siddiqui and you in this regard.

    I must suggest Dr Shahid Siddiqui to write the Story of Story and compile all the reviews and you should write the review of that collection.