Review Of Punjabi Novel Madhu Lal Hussein Timeless Lhore @ Dawn, Books and Authors


Mahmood Awan | 8/7/2016 12:00:00 AM

Rrural soul with roots in Sargodha and Wazirabad, Nain Sukh is in awe of the city and history of Lahore. A lawyer by profession, his real name is Khalid Mahmood. He is the author of three books of Punjabi fiction and a collection of Punjabi verse. His fictional anthologies include two books of short stories, Theekaryan (2005) and Uthal Pathal (2011), and a novel, Madho Lal Hussain: Lahore di Vel (2015). Kikkar tay Angoor (1994) is his anthology of poems.

Madho Lal Hussain: Lahore di Vel was recently judged as the best Pakistani Punjabi novel of the year by the Vancouver based Dhahan International Punjabi Literature Prize jury. The novel is one of the most talked-about works among the Punjabi literati in recent months.

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Nain Sukh started writing this story back in 1994; first intended as a short story, then as a book of oral history, finally af ter 20-odd years it came out in the form of a novel. He has spun his story around two main protagonists, Hussain (a painter) and Mehboob (an NGO employee), symbolically contemporising Shah Hussain and his beloved Hindu Brahmin disciple, Madho Lal.
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Around these two characters he narrates Lahore`s history, culture and politics over 25 chapters. He has covered almost every historic event, significant character and place linked with Lahore. The source material for his story is mostly oral narratives that he recorded over two decades from a diverse range of individuals, from the jogis to the thugs of the city. Further inspiration came from the 17th century book of Sufi thought, Haqiqat-ul-Fuqara, which details the life and times of Madho Lal Hussain, believed to be written some 63 years after the death of Shah Hussain.