Imrana Maqsood writes in much the same way as she speaks. It’s informal and idiomatic. Take her first book which she co-authored with her sister Amra Alam Karachi Halwa, Badayun ke Pede. It was unputdownable. Her several books for children were informative and penned in a way that her readers did not find them boring. I cannot comment on her two cookery books because no one cooked these recipes for me and, as they say, eating is believing. Hence silence is golden. Most recently she came out with Uljhe Suljhe Anwar, which is all about her hubby dear.
She says that the age-old relationship between husband and wife (theirs is 49 years old) is one in which you begin to take each other for granted, like the roof and the walls of your house. It is only when the roof caves in or a wall gets damaged completely that you realize its importance. This reviewer or, for that matter, no one can convey the flavour of the statement by translating it. But you can’t challenge it.
If someone doesn’t like the book, he or she can hold me, yes me, by my throat because it was I who cajoled Imrana to write about her husband and introduced her to Hoori, the lady who runs MaktabayeDanial. I tempted Imrana by saying that she would be in good company because the publishing house has authors and poets of the calibre of Sajjad Zaheer, Sibte Hasan, Mushtaq Yousufi, Ali Sardar Jafri, Kaifi Azmi, Javed Akhtar and Gulzar on its list. She agreed. The book became a good seller.
It’s a good read but what also makes it a good buy is the inclusion of Anwar Maqsood’s spicy columns, his ‘interview’ with Mir Taqi Mir and the entire text of arguably his finest long play Daur-e-Junoon, not to forget the crisp foreword by Haseena Moin, who is supposed to write her autobiography. Every time you phone her she will say, yes I have written the first two chapters. Let me complete this serial and I shall get down to write the remaining chapters. A septuagenarian like me can only hope against hope.