The only fact in this book – is that General Zia’s plane took off , and crashed four minutes later.
The rest is a delightful tale of fiction, with a humourous version of zia’s character, of the mangoes in the plane…the imagery is delightful, the author has painted many a vivid picture of army life…the uniforms,the C 130’s… The marching, and smiles, that were betrayed by body language..
Today, at the reading, Mohammad Hanif, in his own voice, brought to life the characters, their various roles. Most amusing perhaps, was the scene in the jail cell, the poetry enscribed in beautiful urdu, and stuffed in a hole in the mattress.. The overuse of the word pansy..and the irony of the letterbox when the letters never come..
The author himself is quite interesting – he lives abroad, and his book was published in india… quite the global mix for the pakistani audience.. specially since the book has three different covers.. the Pakistani version had a picture of zia in black n whit, with a maroon plane crashing under his face. The Indian version has a mango with a crow pecking at it…and the American version has a mango with a wick which is burning…just like a time bomb about to go off!!
All in all, a fabulous reading by a fabulous author of a fabulous book. Do get your hands on a copy..