Saturday, 25 October 2014

Book review of 'How It Happened'

How It HappenedHow It Happened by Shazaf Fatima Haider
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was inclined to read 'How it Happened' for a long time out of curiosity because it is written by a Pakistani writer, Shazaf Fatima Haider.
I'm always extremely delighted to read books by our very own Pakistani authors. Therefore, I did not want to miss out this one at any cost.

'How it Happened' is a purely gharelu story that we observe in every other's family based in Pakistan. It is the story of a Shia, Bandian family based in Karachi. It revolves around Gulbahar Bibi; commonly known as Dadi in the novel, who plays the most ardent and strict grandparent in the house. It is the story of how she believes in arrange marriages and how she arranged marriages for her children and her grandchildren. She is an imperious matriarch of her Bandian family who believes only in inter-sect marriages.

The story in the novel is being told by Saleha, who is a grand child of Dadi. She narrates the story and tells her ardent Dadi fixes arrange marriages for her two elder siblings; Haroon and Zeba. Dadi is highly against love shove business and wants her grand children to stay away from it as not a single family member in the Bandian family has ever tried to get into a love marriage before.
Despite of her old traditions, Haroon and Zeba find matches for themselves. Zeba crosses the family traditions as she falls in love with a Sunni boy. To find out how Dadi is outraged with this horrifying news, you have to read the book!
I believe this book will be more relatable to the readers belonging to the Shia sect as they will understand the depth of their sect in a much better way.

Moreover, the parts where drawing room meetings are set for a girl when prospective suitors come to see her with his families.
I can somewhat relate to that misery as I've experienced those drawing room meetings myself. This book completely justifies to how actually arranged marriages are done in Pakistan. Beginning from the first meetings and till the rukhsati, each and every event is well expressed.

It was a typical story that depicts the realm and depth of a Pakistani household. Most of the segments of this book were witty and exciting. There was no point when I felt bored reading this book.
The way Shazaf has managed to express the viewpoints of our elders is quite agreeable.
Dadi's role steals the show as she's the center of the story. One would surely laugh like riot and will not regret while reading it.

Happy reading,
Sara Naveed.

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