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Old 02-01-2014, 06:31 PM   #7
b khan
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Default Re: Jannat Kay Pattay - As I see it

Why did I choose Hijaab as the theme of a fiction novel?

In the recent years, when we are seeing much religion-related stuff in print and electronic media, whenever a protagonist is portrayed with strokes of Deen, writer is most of the times (not always) hung between story and religion, and as a result, one or more aspects of religious sanctions are ignored. Forget the others, even my previous heroines were not the perfect Islamic girls, and no one can be perfect. We are portraying humans, not angels, and we are portraying Pakistani girls and if they are not perfect, we have to write about imperfect ones. Or else people cannot relate to them. But there are some girls, (some because they are very few in millions), who at least try to adopt Hijaab completely. Not in parts. Not in bits and pieces. But as a whole. They will wear it with every non-mehram, even try their best on their wedding, and other functions to cover themselves up. And then these girls have their stories. Happy stories. And painful stories. If a girl does not wear the Shariah Niqaab, she has no idea, ABSOLUTELY no idea, what a Niqaabi girl goes through. The pain, the suffering, the endurance of hers is above the level of understanding of a ‘’normal’’ girl. Just like a non-doctor cannot understand the troubles of a medical student, non-hijaabis can never understand those of hijaabi girls. For once, I wanted to write a completely Niqaabi girl’s story. Something every hijaabi girl can relate with. And JKP was not about Haya only. It was about Ayeshe too (A non-niqaabi, only-hijaabi girl), about DJ too (a non-hijaabi, non-niqaabi girl) and the message I tried to convey is that its about time Hijaabi girls should stop taking non-hijaabi ones as Kaafir, idiots and bad girls, and non-hijaabi girls should start showing some respect for the hijaab. It’s all about mutual understanding. If being a Hijaabi, you don’t ‘understand’ a non-Hjaabi, then how can you expect her to understand your life? This mutual tolerance can only help us become a better Muslim and a better human being. A message I always give: do not judge people, you have not lived their life!

And then, I wanted to sketch Hijaab as a very beautiful thing to adopt in life. I know how writers are blessed with the ability to make people fall in love with the profession they portray. If readers can wish to become climbers after reading a mountaineering novel, why not give them a better direction? Something more sacred and precious. Like Qur’an and Islamic values. Hmm…why not?

What I have seen in hijabi girls mostly is their lack of confidence in their dress code. If people can be so confident when they are wrong, why cant we, the hijaabi girls, be proud and confident of our face-covering? Wo ghalat ho ker confident hain tou ap sahi ho kr confident kyun nhi ho skte? And I am sure that some of you have boosted their confidence level to a higher degree after reading this novel. You are welcome (((:

Oh and how can we forget the other storyline of JKP? Jihaan SIkander! (Did I hear someone taking a deep breath? )

Jannat Kay Pattay is every that thing you use to cover yourself up in the time of embarrassment, to use as a mode or tool to gain respect again. So in figurative meanings, Jihaan’s uniform was also a waraq’al’Jannah. Rest is history (:

When I started this novel years ago (even don’t remember how many years ago..well..I started it in July 2011..) I wrote first draft (and remember that first draft is never for anyone to read, it always lies in the closet of the writer), and in first draft there were two extra characters that I later cut. One was Jihaan’s neighbor girl, and other was Jihaan’s younger brother. Yes, he had a younger brother throughout the novel in the first draft, but in the second one, I cut them both and replaced the younger brother with Bihare Gul (she was not in the first draft) and didn’t replace the neighbour girl with anyone (I left her and him for my next novel because those characters were interesting). And so on and so forth (:

I think I wanted readers to love Jihaan so his character was knitted from the very start to be likeable. I know some of you hated him initially and loved Major Ahmed, but then, you still loved Jihaan, right? So he was liked from the start. As for Haya, I didn’t intend anyone to like her. But with time I myself fell so much in love with Haya that she became the prime focus of the novel. She was not the perfect, over sweet, nice, and sabr shukr wali girl. She had her shortcomings, and if you noticed, she didn’t change much after hijaab. She never changed her attitude, she never became sweet, she was even in the end the prompt-reactor. And that’s the whole idea. Islam doesn’t mean you have to go against your nature. It wants you to stay in the parameters of your real self and then obey Allah. The reason we pray Namaz in Jama’at in Mosques is to make us understand how we have to bow before Allah WHILE we stay in the middle of the human crowd. You get the idea?

As for Ayeshe, she was a different kind. She was not the reverted person. She never was a sinner so she never changed herself. She was always a pious person, so she remained. That’s how many girls are like. And then there are likes of DJs too. I am so sorry for killing off that character but it was necessary for the character-development of Haya and plot development. She was meant to die. And this is what the character told me.
Characters do talk to the writers. Sometimes they just refuse the writer’s order and write their own selves. They shape themselves, they mould themselves. Like in the second last scene of the novel, when that Waleed-video fiasco was over, Haya tells Jihaan how much she loves him, I intended to write how Jihaan replies the same, that he loves her, BUT when I tried to write it, it just didn’t work. It was like Jihaan, my character, actually looked up at me with a frown on forehead and said, “No writer, I am not like this so don’t make me do things I will never do..huh!!” And then, it was like he himself said, “Natasha is right…” , shuddered and went away. That’s what Jihaan was like, wasn’t he? So sorry to those who were expecting him to say something else, I really tried hard but you tell me, is it easy to convince Jihaan to do what he doesn’t wanna do? (;
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