Patna Blues ( A Novel By Abdullah Khan )
Reviewed by : Eram Fatima, Sub-Editor, ICN Group
Published by : Jaggurnaut, New Delhi
I got through a book of late, which seemed very relatable to me. ‘Patna Blues’ is one such novel. It is about a boy, named Arif, who hails from Bihar. He lives in the capital city, Patna. I enjoyed it too because I also come from Bihar. Patna, since ages, has fascinated everyone a lot due to it’s glorious history and murcurical political activities of it’s modern day politicians. Every other day we hear some dramatic news. This city has really its own effervescence which can’t be ignored.
Going through the book it was all a quiet romantic, fictional and full of dramatic journey. The protagonist gets entangled in his own created situations. First, he falls in the love of a Hindu Lady of across forty. Then, he loses his brother in a police arrest on the allegations of involving in a bomb blast in the city. “Zakir must have become the victim of police’s prejudice against Muslims”, Arif thought. These thoughts make Arif more vulnerable towards his safety and does all to bring his brother back. He is preparing for the civil services and doesn’t succeed even after attempting more than four times. It makes him depressed. His family’s finacial health is also not good. He has two more sisters to get them married.
Arif feels a lot of burden on his shoulders when he starts his career. His income is not good. He earns very little through coaching classes. On the other hand, his family wants him to get married with a girl named Farzana, who is his close relative. But he doesn’t look interested though he gives his consent because the pressure of his father. There are many intimate moments with Sumitra, his lady love (but in his imagination only). He never gsts the courage to cross the lines of intimacy. Apart from that, there’s a lyrical side too which amuses us in between with sweetly expressed love notes through poetry written by Arif and Sumitra.
After some time, Sumitra writes him a letter of giving him the consent to allow to cross the line of their affair. Arif becomes shocked and decides that he can’t cross his limits and writes Sumitra back to forget him completely. Arif is left in the lurch because his family is preparing his marriage with Farzana. Lately, he starts liking Farzana too. She looks him now attractive and he starts thinking of her quite passionately. But the other day, to his utter dismay, he finds Farzana talking secretly to someone else and expressing her distress towards the marriage with Arif. Now Arif left with no option, and thinks of killing himself. There’s no one he can rest his shoulders on. There’s no one he can share his feelings with. He thinks of them one by one with teary eyes.
First Zakir, his brother, then Sumitra, and later Farzana. What he does and decide later is a big question in itself? Does ever Arif meet his brother? The questions solves when we delve deeper into this fantastically woven story. It would definitely grasp you till end until you left in thought that why it happened so with him? People should read this to get a view of a lesser known Patna and its culture, about a protagonist which looks so naive and simple.
I strongly recommend you to read this book.