Book Review | BLACK AND WHITE | Imran Series #72 | Ibn-e-Safi

Let’s review: Black And White (بلیک اینڈ وہایٹ) (Black and White) – 1974

Plot Summary

You’d think it’s over but it’s not, until now.

Black And White, the last book in this 5-part series, starts on a high note. After everything that has happened in Zalzalay Ka Safar, Luisa aka Edli De Sadaan is irked by Imran’s actions.

Even though she is part of French  secret service and is expected to help him, she has her own motives. Luisa is quite the evil and she’s now after Imran for a supposed 18th member or she wouldn’t release the two scientists from Imran’s country. ( Pakistan, I would say because Safi had moved to Pakistan then).

Imran ko jo gussa aaya hai, soch hai aapki. He turns the situation around and when Luisa is helpless, she confides that there was indeed 18th man Don Spareka in the factory who has escaped with rocket plan etc. Dayam!

He also taken a local girl Rami Le Hara.

Now, there is an island Bali Sonar ruled by a white woman and a black man. This island that allows only mixed race couples. The title of this story “Black & White” is based on this strange rule. Don and Rami have allies there and have sought refuge in Bali Sonar.  Frog tricks Luisa to be his partner. Imran & Umbeini are almost like a real couple; they also join the club.

Even before they reach Bali Sonar, Imran has  recognized the king from his portrait. And, the king is … Guess who? Real Prince Harbanda.

Bali Sonar is an ideal world, but there are people who don’t like this lifestyle. Markoi Wupin, queen’s brother and Deadly Frog being the most influential ones.

Imran meets the king and together they work against the evil forces.

The confrontations between Frog and Imran are funny because Frog is instigated for various reasons but how Imran tackles him is simply extraordinary.

The final battles is entertaining. First, Imran destroys the ammunition etc. Then he becomes part of Luisa’s gang and he slaps Frog. Enraged Frog fires randomly killing Don Spareka. That’s what Imran wanted – Don should be killed and the formula would die with him.

Umbeini kills Frog, government rewards her for killing King Chaang.

Review

Politics and an ideal nation is a recurring theme in Ibn-e-Safi’s novels. This novel yet again tells his philosophy of making a better future.

Bali Sonar is a fantasy land where everyone is equal, people don’t accept tip, alcohol can only be consumed in private, men and women don’t mingle openly. We see what Ibn-e-Safi had dreams of a nation with equality.

I have mixed feeling about this series. It started strong and ended very well, albeit  with predictable turn of events. This is still far better than the Bogha series. Will get to it, in due time.

That is my review of the 72nd story of Imran Series. What do others feel about this story? Please comment.

Shabana Mukhtar

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