Posts

Bitter Fruit by Saadat Hasan Manto: A Review

In an age of political turmoil, Manto wasn’t afraid to write about the darkest depths of human depravity, and his contribution to literature continues to inspire generations of writers (including yours truly).

Midnights In London, Part 7

One moment, they were there, in the confines of that little office in Murdstone & Co. The next, they were somewhere else entirely.

Storytime with Aqil: The Three Fights

I’ve been in my fair share of fights, both in school and out. In some, I was victorious. In most, I was humiliated. Today, I will tell you the story of three of those fights.

Midnights In London, Part 6

Captain Robertson slowly drew his pistol from its holster, the moon glistening off the sweat that trickled down his brow.

Midnights In London, Part 5

This stage of an investigation was always the most arduous. Lesser men would have given up by now, but determination drove Mr Daim forward, and duty dragged Captain Robertson along.

Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary: A Review

Despite its limitations, I would say that Ansary succeeded in presenting a counter-narrative to global history that proves very enlightening. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn more about early Islamic history and the Middle World (what we usually call the Middle East) from a non-Western perspective.

Eid Mubarak!

Eid Mubarak. May Allah shower blessings upon you and your family. Ameen.

Midnights In London, Part 4

With one last burst of courage, Captain Robertson swiftly slipped into the room, pistol raised, to find a figure by the window dressed in black as thick as the midnight sky.

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson: A Review

I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a story that blends the seen with the unseen. Whenever I think of modern Islamic literature and fiction, this is what will come to mind. Many philosophical quandaries are proposed throughout this work, from the Qur’an and its relationship with quantum computing to the all-important question of whether it’s haram to consume virtual pork in a video game. I will most definitely be adding this to my personal canon. Highly entertaining.

Midnights In London, Part 3

It wasn’t uncommon to see unnamed labourers lying dead in unmarked alleyways. What was uncommon, however, was the nature in which this particular labourer met his fate.

The Greatest Leader in History: Ataturk

“He set an outstanding example in promoting the spirit of mutual understanding between peoples and lasting peace between the nations of the world, having advocated all his life the advent of ‘an age of harmony and co-operation in which no distinction would be made between men on account of colour, religion or race.’”

Midnights In London, Part 2

It was from these very rooms that Britannia commanded her vast empire. Mr Daim was about to enter the belly of the beast.

Midnights In London, Part 1

This wasn’t the first time Mr Daim found himself voyaging halfway across the world. The nature of his work had taken him all over the globe, from the imperial courts of Peking to the dense jungle forests of the Amazon.

I Stared at the Night of the City by Bakhtiyar Ali: A Review

I highly recommend I Stared at the Night of the City to anyone and everyone. The book had such a profound impact on my own ideas about the power of the imagination that I’d go as far as to include it in my personal canon. Its multiple layers and deep meaning makes it a novel I will most definitely be revisiting in the future.

Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh: A Review

I highly recommend Train to Pakistan and go as far as to include it in my personal canon. Its social commentary provides insight into rural Punjabi life (in all its glorious vulgarities) and highlights the real human impacts of Partition. It wasn’t just the breaking up of a country but the breaking up of brotherly bonds tracing back generations.

The Wish Maker by Ali Sethi: A Review

I recommend this book to anyone familiar with Pakistan. For me personally, the novel brought to life some of Pakistan’s most tumultuous times. The history that I’ve studied in other non-fiction books finally begins to feel real.

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond: A Review

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the social sciences. Its multi-disciplinary approach makes it useful for almost any field. No matter your intellectual background or goal, you will find something new and exciting in this book, which will add to your future discoveries.

A Reflection on Loneliness and How to Punch

The stress plaguing me these last few months has finally been lifted from my shoulders, leaving room for the next load of stress that life’s going to throw at me. And so, it is in this moment of respite that I can sit back, relax, and reflect for a minute.

Shaheen

Fiction. Its an interesting thing isn’t it? Inherently false yet at the same time often truer than even the truest encyclopaedia. Not quite real yet not quite fake either. A kind of no man’s land between the reality that we witness before our eyes and the jumble of threads that make up the complex machinery behind our hardened skulls. A half-existence.

Aqil Ghani’s Gap Year Goals

On Wednesday, I completed my final A-level Physics exam. The exams themselves went far better than I anticipated. Paper 1 and 2 were smooth sailing with paper 3 posing the most significant challenge yet still tameable. I think its safe to say that I did not crumble and fumble (see my previous post). Of course, we will not know for sure until my second results day on the 17th December. In the meantime, though, I find myself presented with a lot of freedom.

Limbo

On Thursday the 13th August, thousands of students across the country received the most important results in their academic lives. I was one of these students. I remember struggling to sleep the night before, perturbed by what daylight would bring. And in a year like no other, this results day would be like no other.

Lucknow Pact – 1916

The Lucknow Pact serves as an example of Jinnah’s adeptness as a political tactician in the cause for an Independent India.

Minto-Morley Reforms – 1909

The reforms allowed Muslims to get into government and rock the boat without fear of being tossed overboard. However, not everyone was happy.

Was the British Raj good or bad for the Subcontinent?

“The British conquest of India was the invasion and destruction of a high civilization by a trading company [The British East India Company] utterly without scruple or principle, careless of art and greedy of gain, over-running with fire and sword a country temporarily disordered and helpless, bribing and murdering, annexing and stealing, and beginning that career of illegal and “legal” plunder which has now [1930] gone on ruthlessly for one hundred and seventy-three years”