Book Review: Mere Humdum Mere Dost (By Farhat Ishtiaque)

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Non-review Rambling

This post is a spoiler filled review of the book. If you’re planning to read the book, please don’t read further. You have been warned.

I read this novel in 2013. I like Farhat’s writing and have read most of her stories. This novel, however, became memorable after I watched the drama.

Characters

Aiman Taufeeq

A 20-year-old girl lives with her ailing mother Zainab. She’s emotional and has suppressed anger towards her father.

Zainab Taufeeq

Aiman’s mother, Taufeeq’s wife. They are separated long time back. She is not educated or good looking. Taufeeq wanted a wife who he can proudly call his ‘life partner’.

Taufeeq Kamaal

Taufeeq is Aiman’s father. Post his separation from Zainab, he has married Almas. He is a perfectionist of sorts and likes studious people.

Almas Taufeeq

Taufeeq’s second wife. She is pretty, educated and fitness freak, a stark difference from Zainab.

Sahir Taufeeq

Taufeeq’s son, Aiman’s step-brother. Although he doesn’t meet Aiman for a long time, he has some sibling love for her, thanks to Haider, who has brainwashed him to be nice to Aiman. Awnnn!

Haider Masood

Taufeeq’s friend & business partnerand the hero. He’s a perfect gentleman and tries everything in his power to make Aiman feel better.

Bibi

Haider’s phupho

Sajeela

Almas’s sister and Haider’s ex-wife

Fatima

Haider’s classmate and old friend. She’s briefly engaged to Haider, before Haider realizes that he cannot live without Aiman / Emma.

Plot Summary

Aiman’s life in Hyderabad

Zainab and Taufeeq live in Hyderabad, as a tenant with Zeenat Khala. Zaanat’s son Baqar, Baqar’s wife and their daughter Gudiya is the extended family that Aiman has.

Zainab often tells her that Taufeeq had abandoned them for a younger, richer, better looking woman. Aiman grows up to hate her father.

Aiman was studying BA first year when Zainab fell sick. Since then, Aiman struggles to arrange money for Zainab’s treatment, her entire revolved around the doctors, hospitals, test reports and medicines.

After battling the disease for 4 years, Zainab succumbs to death. During her last days, Zainab wrote letter to Taufeeq and requested that he raises Aiman. Aiman is reluctant to leave her house and certainly unwilling to live with her father, but she has no other option. If she had, we wouldn’t have a story, right?

Taufeeq is leaving for US with his wife Almas and son Sahir for Sahir’s admission to an American university. He requests his business partner Haider to pick Aiman up and let her stay at his home until he is back.

The Transition Period

Aiman is overwhelmed with emotions. She is grief striken for her mother’s loss, upset that she has to leave her house and angry that her father didn’t bother to pick her up.

She arrives in Karachi and is mesmerized by her surroundings. Having lived all her life in a small room with dusty walls, old clothes and broken utensils; the stark difference of a lavish lifestyle amazes her. Inferioriry comlex comes naturally to her, and self-pity is her second nature.

Bibi is a loving woman and an awesome host. She takes care of Aiman well. Aiman, in turn, feels sorry for herself. Haider, on the other hand, is friendly and helping. He plays games with her, takes her out for dinner and in general makes her feel at home.

Aiman reads Economics books from his study. He is impressed by her knowledge and interest. Haider encourages her to take advanced studies of Finance and Economics , and grooms herself.

Aiman’s life in Karachi

After Taufeeq returns, she moves in with him but struggles to adjust to living with them. She cannot hate Almas, because she’s perfect and nice to her.

Slowly, as their friendship strengthens, Aiman starts to develop feelings for Haider. Who wouldn’t? The man is kind and oh-so-handsome. Haider was married in the past and just when things start to look good between the, his ex-wife Sajeela returns to Pakistan after a failed marriage to Mazhar, in hopes of remarrying Haider. Sajeela is arrogant and self-centered. She cannot tolerate Haider’s attention towards Aiman. She tries to create tension between Aiman and Haider by convincing everyone that Haider is taking advantage of Aiman’s innocence.

Aiman’s confession of love and Sajeela’s antiques make Haider take a hasty decision. He decides to marry his old friend Fatima.

Aiman is dejected and decides to go back to Hyderabad. Almas and Taufeeq aren’t completely oblivious to Aiman’s feelings for Haider, but they keep quiet. Haider hears about Aiman’s plans and the fear of losing her serves him better. He confronts Aiman and admits his feelings for her. Once that is sorted, he talks to Taufeeq asking Aiman’s hand for marriage.

Happily Ever After.

Review

Like most people, I like romantic tropes. Young girl heroine and slightly older hero is very interesting, for me. I, therefore, loved this novel.

I like how Aiman’s relationship with her Almas and Sahir is treated. She feels more comfortable with them, than her real father. She realizes much later that her father is not very expressive, but loves her nonetheless.

The story, otherwise is predictable and almost cliched.

  1. Heroine loses one parent
  2. Hero helps her in the new setting
  3. She is transformed overnight and
  4. They like each other, but heroine makes the first move
  5. His ex comes to ruin things
  6. Some drama and Happily Ever After

There are a few scenes that I absolutely love.

  1. Haider and Aiman playing monopoly
  2. Haider and Aiman in office together, when Haider praises Aiman unnecessarily and incessantly, just to impress Taufeeq

There are subtle messages in this story. I don’t agree with some of them.

  1. Be confident. Confidence wins a lot of battles. I agree.
  2. Looks matter, so you should change yourself. I don’t agree.

Farhat Ishtiaque’s Writing Style

Farhat Ishtiaque is often referred to as the Queen of Romance, and by god she is. Her stories may not be as impactful as Umera or Nemrah, but she will leave you with a desire – “Kash ki mera hero bhi aisa hi ho.”

My sister often says, “Farhat Ishtiaque creates heroes that you want to extract from the novel and bring him to real life – just for you.”

She’s so right. Whether it is Irtiza from Bin Roye Ansoo or Haider Masood in Mere Humdum Mere Dost, you fall in love with the hero, truly, deeply, madly. Of course, this attraction is short-lived, until you read another novel and fall for some other hero. Haha!

Conclusion

Read it for romance. Despite the predictability, the narrative is interesting, keeps you engage and makes it a worthy read.

Thanks for reading the review. Please leave your comments below.

Happy watching! 

Shabana Mukhtar

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