I am writing this review based on my first read several years ago. Without much further ado, let’s dive into it. I don’t want to forget the details 😉
Main Abdul Qadir Hoon is story of an a young, gullible boy named Abdul Qadir.
Abdul Qadir belongs to elite class of Pakistan. Yet, his simple and shy ways stand him apart from the regular boys his age. Meera, his mother is worried, even upset, that Abdul Qadir’s grandparents have raised him to be a simpleton.
Until he meets Zareen, a vivacious and bold and rotten girl who lives with his neighbours.
He falls for her, head over heels, and transforms himself to impress Zareen. When he proposes her, she humiliates him.
Heartbroken, Abdul Qadir leaves for London for higher education and lower morale standards. Alcohol, gambling and women – nothing is beyond him. His friends, incidentally are just like him – strayed from the path of righteousness.
He lives in darkness, until a newly converted Muslim woman jolts him from his deep slumber.
A reformed and transformed Abdul Qadir returns to Pakistani, much to Meera’s dismay. We also see the bias of a Muslim society towards a devout Muslim. Abdul Qadir faces a lot of questions about his visual appearance when he applies for a lecturer’s job. The entire conversation that happened during the interview is worth quoting, noting, and remembering.
Zareen, who had married the lafanga boyfriend of hers is now living a miserable life. His mother hires her to bring Abdul Qadir back to being a man.
Our man is too strong for such tactics. Abdul Qadir learns about this plan and flees to London again, to be with Faiz Rasul, one of his many friends in London.
The two eventually end up marrying her.
I like this novel for the journey that he goes through, and how his friends help to shape him. Zareen and Meera are just caricature-ish characters to add masala and subplots.
This is one mind-blowing novel. Abdul Qadir’s journey is a complete 360 degrees. From a shy teenager to a rebel young man; from a drinking and gambling young man to a man sporting shara’yi dadhi and topi all the time – the story is just wow.
That’s my review. What do others feel about this novel?