Kamari Wala by Ali Akbar
Among the novelists of the 21st century, Ali Akbar is an important novelist of our time. He began his literary career as a poet. Besides poetry, he also produced short stories and novels. Her first novel, “Naolahki Kothi” was published in January 2020 and captured the attention of critics and readers. After a decade, her second novel “Kamari Wala” emerged on the current literary scene of Urdu literature. The novel unveiled the social, political and religious currents of society from the early 1980s to the present day. Terrorism, sectarianism, feudalism, pornography, yellow journalism and national security are the main themes of this novel. The plot of the novel is simple; all events are well connected to each other. Reading this first novel, the reader has the impression of sitting on a train and watching a movie. The novelist has a very strong hold on the portrait of village life. He exposed all aspects of rural life – culture, values and norms. The novel systematically moves from rural to urban life through the main character – Zamin Ali. Zamin’s action and observations during childhood and adulthood allow readers to experience the reality and purity of simple life. The surroundings are the main points which not only relate to the picturesque description of happy and easy village life, but also convey agony, pain and sorrow. Natiq tries to tie the fate of the individual to mega-causes, and I think he’s been successful using this technique in general. Adeela’s son and his friend motivated by religious clergy are the prime example in this regard. In this part of the novel, religious exploitation was highlighted in the novel which gave rise to extremism, bigotry and intolerance in society. Zamine’s father,
Hakim Fitras Ali and thousands of innocent people are killed in this sectarian murder. The second main concern of history is feudalism. This state of mind has damaged the image of family relations, social norms and ethics at the cost of maximum capture of land and property. The ladies are always deprived of their property rights. The feudal lords wield unprecedented power and ironically they have their part in the corridors of power. This state of mind even governs politics in the country. Natiq underlined this threat in his novel. Dr Farha and his family driven out by this state of mind and the consequences of cruelty tragically end where his family has disappeared in 3 decades. The language of the novel is very simple, which is why the readability of the novel is very high. When the narrator of the story, Mr. Zamin settles in Lahore and Islamabad, he unearths the urban way of life and its issues which are totally different from the rural areas. In particular, in Islamabad, the capital, the reader learns how the targeted objectives are achieved through various tools, namely journalism / yellow literature, pornography, social welfare and showbiz, etc. This part of the plot is significant in the sense that Natiq boldly expresses the facts both in abstract thoughts and in opus dialogues. The characterization is not very impressive because everywhere the narrator seems dominant and all the other characters depend on Mr. Zamin. In a way, we can also say that the action and the events replace the actor and the character. For example, the characters in Islamabad, with the exception of Miss Sheeza, look like models. A reader cannot deny the skill of the novelist with whom he not only paints a living tableau of a society, but advances the story in a suspicious manner where one cannot guess what will happen in the next scene. “Kamari Wala” may be listed in conventional Urdu novels as far as its treatment is concerned, but the issues raised in this novel are central to our country’s concerns. What are the causes and effects of these changes? How we as a nation can achieve an honorable place in the international community is a million dollar question that has been raised intellectually in this novel. The writer, through fiction, leads his reader to the heart of the situation and helps to understand what is really going on behind the scenes. Ali Akbar, in this novel, analyzes natural beauty. He repeatedly glorifies trees and greenery. Deforestation is another theme of the novel approached.