Balochistan is marked with despondence and deprivation. The stark landscape of Pakistan's largest land mass
is home to ancient traditions as well as many languages and literary traditions. Recently, political turbulence caused it
to receive some media attention, but little attention is paid to the everyday reality in the area which does not make it to
the nine o'clock news. Balochistan is a land seething with anger. This anger finds its literary expression in some of the
short stories written by Balochistan authors in Balochi, Brahvi and Pashto. These moods are reflected in a selection of recent
and notable fiction from Balochistan entitled "Injeer Kay Phool", just published from Scheherzade. The selection and translation
Urdu is the work of Afzal Murad, himself a noted writer and poet in Urdu as well as Brahvi.
Some of the stories bring
up haunting images and situations: An ageing woman returns to her ancestral village and finds it transformed after the nuclear
tests, only to learn that progress is an elusive dream. A young man decides that he wants to make it big and be a top government
official. A young man wants to take his ailing sister to the nearest hospital, a few
days away and finds himself trapped
in the lunar landscape several years into the future. Is there no hope of conditions improving? A young woman finds the legendary
'injeer" flower and sacrifices her feelings to keep the flour bin full. The writers include Gohar Malik, Niamutullah
Gichki, Farooq Sarwar, Taj Raisani, Saba Dashtyari and others. The selection is introduced by M. Hameed Shahid, a notable
fiction-writer and critic, who has himself focused on this area in some of his recent work. Asif Farrukhi discusses in detail
the socio-political trends and their literary implications.
The book is published by Scheherzade, a non-profit organization
devoted to publishing and the promotion of book culture, which also brings out the book series "Duniyazad". In addition to
special issues on Palestine, post- 9/11 word and Iraq Fourteen issues of "Duniyazad" have appeared so far,
writings in Urdu as well as translations from the various languages of Pakistan.
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