Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: Our Lady of Alice Bhatti

Our Lady of Alice BhattiOur Lady of Alice Bhatti by Mohammed Hanif
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Things that didn't work - Disappointing read. Weak character development with no consistency in behavior or motive for almost all the major characters. Too many jumps in timelines as well as character personalities. Unexplained events, miracles without any overarching context to wrap them in. Plenty of unnecessary events that don't contribute to anything.

Things that did - unabashed dark humor that's both laugh out hilarious and gut wrenchingly painful at the same time. Quite a talent to be able to do that. Brave commentary on the state of women and minorities in Pakiatan; seemed very astute and never inauthentic or contrived. Hanif can step into the heart of his characters to communicate their pain and at the same time mock them in ingenious ways for their idiocy at feeling that pain.

A brilliant author, by any standards. All the more reasons that I felt let down by the glaring inconsistencies.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Destructive Interference

Started a story; stumbled over a twist
Here's a summary; can't spill the rest
It began with a tingling; like most beginnings
Two kindred souls; one little fish bowl
The inevitable chaos was swift; the damage, colossal
The crack on the surface; a ship in shamble
Adrift on the wreckage; the survivors found harbor
The sea of unknown between; made the separation profounder
Beyond the infinite; stood what once was her half
But a shoulder appeared presently; offering to carry her raft
The shoulder asked her who she was;
before there was time to comprehend her loss
With one half beyond the finite;
she struggled for an answer through the night
Light shone, with the morning sun
but all on the dilemma, on the solution none
Obviate the beginning to start afresh?
Or labor with the details and hope for grace?