My Male Friend, Orientalia (Pages-160), ISBN: 978-81-7273-610-1, Year of release:-2011 Price: – Rs 225.
Reviewed by: Dr Shamenaz, Associate Professor, Deptt of Applied Science & Humanities, AIET, Allahabad.
My Male Friend is a maiden novel by Bushra Wadood, who wants to shine in the literary sky by her talent and hard work. Being an Assistant Professor of English in Integral University, Lucknow, she is young, energetic and a great lover of English literature.
She has dedicated the novel to the people who believes in this beautiful feeling of love. As she says in her novel:
“To the people who still believe in the beauty of the emotion
called “love” and make others feel the ecstasy that love brings.”
The novel is about the college life of some college students and is packed with fun, excitements and amusements of those days.
Sabir, the protagonist of the novel, dreams of pursuing Masters in journalism but had to take admission in English. He is a bit reserved person who after taking admission in the College was dead sure about himself that he will not make friends there and will be at arm’s length with the people.
Sabir was a boy with a vibrant smile, pleasant persona and positive attitude, who was suppose to be a centre of charms among girls. And Zoha is a girl who is very simple, gentle and of caring nature, novelist has described her as a person having a curtained personality. It means that she is supposed to be a secretive person who is not open to all. And because of this, she is not spontaneous and always having a feeling that whether I should say this or not. So such a person is very hard to confess.
Sabir and Zoya had their first meeting in the College, when it was the first day for all the students who took admission to obtain a Masters degree in English in the University. And from here, the story begins. They had many other friends namely Tabish and Samreen.
There is also a character, who can be called as black sheep and that is Samaira. Her personality has been described by the novelist as chirpy, artificial, plastically beautiful, infected with doze of confidence being over, honeyed-tongued when needed, venomous when not beneficial, always eager to make fun of everyone around, constantly looking for faults and weaknesses in others, ignoring her own and with heavy measures of attitudinizing, thinking herself a Princess but self-crowned.
The story revolves around Sabir and Zoha, who were very good friends but later on their friendship transformed into a love-affair. And their love was so intense and deep that they both were even ready to sacrifice anything for the other.
Their friendship or relationship was of two years and during this period they have seen different phases, many upheavals, and much turmoil’s. But their relationship was rock-solid and so it survived against all odds. It is so because they had faith in their relationship and so in odds situations also it had grown.
It is a simple story based on friendship and love but has a tragic end. The ending of the novel is hard, it is so because we Indians are used to happy ending, whether it is a novel, drama or a movie. We don’t want to see tragic end of any story whether it is original or based on imagination.
There are two main characters Sabir and Zoya but some other characters are of great importance like Samreen, Tabish, Neeti and Samaira and Zoya’s mother.
The novelist has used simple, lucid and clear style with many idioms and phrases used in an Indian household in everyday life. As for one instance she says, “A blind can’t see how beautiful the world is, no need to persuade” and ‘the moon of Eid finally sighted.”
There is also an influence of native language in her writings as she has used Hindi as well as Urdu words, giving it a desi-flavour or in other words what is called as chutneyfication theory by Salman Rushdie. For example, words like- jab, koi mil gaya, khaala, machhali bazaar, dhaba, bechain aatma, Qaazi, qabool hai, shikaar, kamzor kadi, katora-cut, tarbiyat and many other words.She has even used Arabic words like- Assalam-o-aleikum, bismillah, fatwa, qabr, azaabs, mohtarma, Alhamdullah, mashallah etc which are common among Muslims around the world. The use of language by Bushra Wadood can be seen in her biographical context, though educated in English, she belongs to a Muslim family of Lucknow. So, all these influences are moulded up in her writing.
She also makes an allusion to Hindu religious texts by quoting a shoklya, “Twamaev mata cha pita twamaev, twamaev bandhu cha sakha twamaev.”This shows the Ganga-Zamuni Tehzeeb of Lucknow and also the demonstration of the synthesis of Hindu-Muslim unity existing in India.
To sum up, it can be said that the novel fulfils the demand of the readers who want to read the story based on love and friendship.