Khawb Aur Patang - By Professor Dr. Saadat Saeed


By Professor Dr. Saadat Saeed

Our century has seen the innumerable unrestrained growth of literary schools having new techniques of expression. It also has projected fresh sociological creeds, aesthetic fashions and literary breakthroughs. The new voices of Urdu literature seem fully aware of this flux as they also have left no stone unturned to adopt latest international discoveries in the fields of diction, style and experiences. Nusrat Ali a well read Urdu short story writer has chosen to depict his experiences in a diction specially adopted in social realistic fiction. Remaining in the mainstream he could not avoid the enhancement created by the symbolists. He has tried to blend social realism in symbolism and managed to lend symbolic meaning to some of his characters which really undergo mental agonies.

Nusrat Ali in his maiden book Khawab aur Patang (Dream and Kite) suggests expressively that immoral social and political attitudes rooted in the society around him are ruining human values. They should be wiped out immediately. Apart from the question of ethical chaos his short stories highlight many other wrongdoings and social bloopers. Nusrat Ali in his fifteen short stories tells the reader rightly that it is impossible for poverty-stricken, fame-ambitious or money-driven characters to behave morally in the true sense of the word. Sheda from Platform No 4, Jamshed Raza from Pather Kay Paoon or Farzand Ali and Hashmat Beg , from Dollar hi Dollar all these characters| behave according to the criterion given by a materialistic society? A society which believes that money, the real force in upraising ones status, can purchase everything.

In this perspective Nusrat Ali has studied the common attitudes of a judge, a government officer and a boy from a rich family. He resists violation of human values.

Main themes in Nusrat Ali's short stories have their origin in common hardships, economic problems and psychological intricacies. Javed Shaheen, an acclaimed Urdu poet once said

"All literature is inherently literature of resistance. As long as obnoxious evils like social injustice, economic inequality and political anarchy are prevalent, literature of resistance is bound to entertain relevance. A writer, poet and intellectual has a word of honour with his own conscience and that commitment has little to do with outward manifestations of such a bondage. No work of art can acquire its life blood without establishing a living relationship with the milieu of its origin. When a writer abandons his reasoning faculty, he produces decadent literature with life as brief as that of the Shakespearean candle."

Nusrat Ali is well aware of latest trends in fiction. As a student of English literature he studied progressive, reactionary, liberal, humanist and romantic fiction, In the preface of the book under review he says "we have lost our dreams". He is in search of new dreams.

Bushra Rehman has declared Nusrat Ali a realist short story writer. She says "It seems that Nusrat Ali has a mirror in his hands which reflects our social scenarios. He watches his surroundings sharply. His stories are realistic in nature. He does not portray supernatural characters and outrageous occurrences. Nusrat Ali avoids imaginary chats." She further writes " Each of his short stories leaves behind an impact of slight pain or a pinch which generates a crisis that suppresses tears and sleep.

Nusrat Ali likes to go with the stream. He does not want to stun his reader, so he is happy over his straight sensibility, familiar themes and usual craftsmanship. His sensibility indicates his ideological directions.

He hankers after some sort of working morality for an immoral society. Nusrat Ali has surveyed seriously the materialistic influences on the souls of people living here in his short stories.

He has portrayed the socioeconomic conditions prevailing in the Pakistani society and searched contemporary truths for his readers. Azhar Javed observes

" Nusrat Ali pinpints the nature of characters and does not pay attention to decorate or dress up his sentences. This is why characters seems naturally fit in the set up of his plots."