Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kabuko the Djinn - Review

Kabuko the djinn is the evocative story of a djinn who journeys through human life in search of occult knowledge. Wishing to study the dynamics of the human species for himself, in order to unearth the secrets of human power, Kabuko enters the body of Ajee Shah, a boy born in post-independence Punjab, Pakistan. As Kabuko loses himself to the trials and tribulations of living an ordinary yet intrinsically exceptional human life through Ajee, sex and the supernatural collide, entangling them both in a cataclysmic event that is to change their lives forever. Woven throughout this tapestry of youthful yearnings and a desire for transcendental knowledge are real secrets of the Islamic occult, true stories of Muslim saints and the folklore of the Punjab.

About the Author
Hamraz Ahsan is a seasoned journalist and syndicated columnist with over 30 years’ experience in Urdu print media. He has researched and written on various social and anthropological subjects, including work on the remote tribes of Punjab. He is a published poet and is author of Tibbiaan Uttey Chhaavaan (Shades on Dunes), a collection of Punjabi poems; Muqeem Bi Masafar (The Settler is also a Nomad), a collection of Urdu poems; and Par Samundraan Walley (Trapped on the Other Side of the Ocean), Punjabi short poems about the immigrant experience in Britain. He is also the author of Harf-e-saadaa (A Simple Word), a collection of his Urdu newspaper columns. His most recent poetry book is a book of Punjabi Sufi-inspired quatrains. 
He currently lives in London and writes for newspapers around the world.

There are three things that influence my decision of picking up a book and read – title, cover and the blurb. To some extent, I also do get biased by authors whose works I have read and admired since years, but for newcomers and debutants, we can disregard this fourth point. So, when all the three mentioned parameters click, you can be assured that the book that you are holding in your hands is titled ‘Kabuko the Djinn.’

A title that is unique, a cover pic depicting a young child with fiery eyes, and a blurb promising a story that I have never heard or read anywhere (considering the fact that I am a book addict and a voracious reader), my heart was compelled to pick up this book, and man, did it satisfy me?

Absolutely, the book simply rocked.

This is the tale of Kabuko, a djinn, who wants to have first-hand experiences of a human’s life, feeling the emotions that are felt by the human species, and thus shares the body of Ajee Shah, a boy born in post – Independence Punjab in Pakistan. He settles into the body of the boy, when he is in his mother’s womb, and stays with him for thirty years of his life, learning and narrating the events in the boy’s life, as he grows and experiences the thrills and the charms of childhood, youth and adulthood.

What really stands out in the book is the way the events have been described. Though the plot is complex, the author narrates them in such a simple manner that you can even read the whole story with your eyes closed. The author, Hamraz Ahsan, certainly has a keen eye for observation, and that shows in the descriptions that cross the boundaries of space and time, often engulfing the readers in the beauty of its words that we are left spellbound, and addicted to its essence, we continue reading.

If you ever want to delve into a world of fantasy and mysticism, then this is the book to explore. The way the author talks about spirits residing in human bodies, djinns, paris, and several other magical beings, is simply engrossing. He weaves his words in such a manner that they convey the minutest of details, but doesn't bore you with unnecessary descriptions. The author creates a perfect balance, highlighting what is necessary, and painting a dimension so unbelievably believable that you do not want to go out of its realms. That is how the author binds you, and you don’t mind even a bit.

Hamraz, you have simply done an amazing job with this book. This flowed so seamlessly, lucid, just like a crystal clear stream of water, rippling on its own course, obeying the current. Along with that, you have also given your readers an adorable character in the form of Kabuko. Perhaps, djinns do exist, and someday, I wish I get to meet Kabuko the djinn in real, though not as a part of my soul, but as a friend.

On a serious note, this is a real refreshing read. So friends, after a hard day’s work, if you want to get rid of your tiredness by having a cup of tea, and then remember that you already emptied the tea packet the previous night, do not panic. Get on the bed, relax, and start reading this novel. It will serve as a perfectly soothing balm to your tired body and mind.

Title: Kabuko the Djinn
Author: Hamraz Ahsan
Publisher: Prakash Books
Imprint: Fingerprint Publishing
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
No. of Pages: 292
Price: Rs 295
My Rating: 4/5


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