Book Review | Maala | Episode 1 | Nemrah Ahmed

Non review Rant

It was almost two years back when I published my final review of Haalim. Yesterday, my sister told me that Nemrah has published the first episode of her next fiction, and I was like: let’s do this.

So, here I am. Let’s first meet the characters.

Alright, now let’s get to the plot summary.

Plot Summary

The Exposition

We meet Kaif, who is an out-of-work struggling entrepreneur. He has tried and failed in many entrepreneural adventures. Now, he is indebted, and need a shitload of money to come clean. And someone is too keen to help him.

We meet Mahir Fareed, a man with a mysterious past who offers to pay Kaif a lot of money only to be a bodyguard to a girl name Kashmala. He would also help Kaif to start his business, do the marketing, the social media, the works… It is evident that he doesn’t have angelic intentions for Kashmala. He would remind you of Khawar from Namal, a killer who liked to keep record of his targets. Mahir Fareed also keeps an albums. Yep, you guessed it right. He is a psychopath.

Then, we finally meet Kashmala, the titular character, I would say. Although, the title might mean garland, you know, that thing you wear around your neck. She gets ready for work, and we are smitten by her beauty.

The Conflict

Kashmala runs a restaurant named Ocean. She has terrific attention to detail, and can spot even the slightest problems at work. But, she can’t figure out that her business partner Zaheer doesn’t really see her as a business partner. Yep, Zaheer sells the restaurant without even consulting with Kashmala once. Kashmala has put blood, tears and five years worth of hard work in that restaurant.

Losing this “job” isn’t the only thing that’s bothering her. Someone is after her, and drops clues to scare her off. Her family is very supportive of her. Dejected, she decides to attend her cousin’s wedding.

Kaif has been hired, and accompanies Kashmala to her native place. He’s too good-lookin’ to be a driver, and people are suspicious. Our boy also starts to fall for his boss. He is not in love, but we can tell that he has a soft corner.

The episode ends as Kashmala learns something terrible about Hoor e Jahan.

Review

This is only the first episode and I am not happy.

I’m not sure if you have heard of Reedsy, it’s a marketplace to bring talent together for writing, editing, publishing and marketing indie books. Shaelin, the YouTube face of Reedsy often posts videos about what not to do when writing your story.

 

Don’t create too much conflict that you can’t resolve, don’t raise too many questions that you can’t answer.

Of course, I paraphrase but that’s the gist of it.

Yes, we all know that creating a conflict, raising questions is the way to engage readers in the story and keep them glued to the pages. It is how you make them coming back for more if it is a serialised fiction. The problem occurs when there are too many conflicts than the reader can comprehend and the writer can solve. It becomes messy after a point.

And that is why I didn’t like the episode much. There are way too many open questions. I know, Nemrah will address them all and soon, but when I read the scene between Mahir Fareed and Kaif, I was like, too many questions.

  1. Who is Mahir Fareed?
  2. Why does he want to kill Kashmala?
  3. How does Mahir know Hoor e Jahan? And, what has Hoor e Jahan done to piss Mahir off?
  4. What were those two sentences that Mahir said that forced Kaif to agree?
  5. What was the price Kaif sold his soul for?

The last two questions should have been answered already. Just too much… Nemrah’s amazing writing keeps us hooked to the story. We don’t need soooo many questions, da…

That said, the first episode does a fine job of introducing us to the characters, the setting, and the conflicts. I’m looking forward to reading more.

QOTD

Did anyone feel a connection with Haalim in this novel?

Adam = Kaif + Ziyad

Adam was a body man and a writer, Kaif is a bodyguard and Ziyad is a writer. You know… Just saying…

Another QOTD

Mahir Fareed is very clearly Kabeera Begum’s son. If it is so obvious, why doesn’t Kashmala do anything?

Let me know how you felt about this episode. You can comment, or email me.

Until we meet again, check out my books on Amazon. You can subscribe for Kindle Unlimited for free for the first month, just saying 🙂

Shabana Mukhtar