REVIEW OF THE BOOK: RABIA, THROUGH ALL JOYS AND SORROWS (A NOVEL)

Published by Lifi Publications Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, 2016

Price: Rs. 295

Reviewed by: Eram Fatima

NEW DELHI: Mohammad Aleem (Chief News Editor-ICN Group) the writer of the novel Rabia: Through all joys and sorrows has written a remarkable piece. No doubt! He delves unflinchingly into the confounded realities of the women through his book. This culture where we live in has certain restrictions and traditions which are constrained to its doctrines about the rules of marriages, including the choice of groom by one’s own parents only.

The writer has adroitly raised the issue which is very common in our lives.Rabia, the protagonist in this novel faces a lot of flak. Her parents get her married to a boy of their choice in a respected family without her consent. When she finally sets into the new chapter of her life, she not only discards the boy completely, but eventually refuses to live with him. She doesn’t like him because he is not handsome and attractive.

The writer wants people to know more about those old customs which were very much prevalent in our society earlier, and still, that exists in many parts of India. These kinds of incidents used to happen because of people’s orthodox mindsets. Rabia unmistakably explains those minds in this book. A simple, beautiful girl is just asking for her dream man, that’s it. But who is there to fulfill her dream.

She faces early marriage, no complete education, extreme poverty, early widowhood, and all those gratuitous criticisms which she wasn’t conscientious for. At one point of time, she even felt to frown on her set rules of her religion which is a prohibited thing according to our religious beliefs.

Her mind starts doing the rounds with malevolent thoughts because of all these miseries. And the author has without a doubt explained this through Rabia’s intellect. “Then, why on earth was only she targeted with such savagery and brutality. She seemed to ask the question directly to the almighty God. But the very next moment she feared that it would be considered a kind of apostasy on her part if she showed the temerity of crossing the boundary of set limits of her religion, and that would be enough to put her in the thinks. 

The writer has also endeavored to explain the religion, Islam quiet well, which many people have misunderstood. It never objected to marry a girl or a boy with his or her own choice. It is mandatory to seek consent before sealing the fate of a woman or man in marriage. But, we pay little regard and attention to it. And that carelessness and negligence result in destroying many married lives.

The third character, Lata was simply killed for marrying a person of her love who was outside of her religious identity. It reminds the raging debate around the love Jihad, which the right wing extremist Hindu groups have raised at a number of times lately. Can anyone forget that how many innocent girls and boys were killed in Haryana, UP and Rajasthan and other states for marrying to a man or a woman outside of their religion and caste in the name of saving one’s honor?

This novel demands a very a close and insightful reading, so the intricacies of the characters and as well as the theme could be properly unraveled.

The language is simple and it is a great page turner.

I do hope that this book will invite serious discussion in literary circles.

The writer of this review is the student of BA English at Jamia Millia Islamia and the author of a book on the Bollywood hero, Salman Khan-An Eternal Hero, going to be published by Magnifera Publications Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi very soon.

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