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Tag: To Kill a Mockingbird

Peshawar Attack: All the Mockingbirds We Lost

It’s been incredibly quite in this little corner of the worldwide web. To blame would be the ever-so-maddening demands of university life, and of course, my lack of inspiration. So then, what has compelled me to break through the (metaphorical of course) cobwebs that have settled upon this unkept blog of mine?

16 December 2014
would be my reply.

A date that will forever be synonymous with blackness, equating to the sorrowful image of children in green school uniforms fleeing with fear and terror. Certainly, on this date, we lost a little bit of this world’s innocence, as 132 children lost their lives in resultant of the harrowing Peshawar Attack. On this date, a Pakistan military school was attacked by the Pakistan Taliban, who aimed to execute their revenge upon the Pakistani military by means of such a vicious massacre.

Putting pen to paper, with this torn and grieving heart of mine, I am reminded of a lesson Atticus Finch parted to his daughter, Scout: “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know that you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do,” (Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird). Surely this phrase serves as our protestation cry, allowing us to demand, why do men with guns in their hands have so much power?

Allow To Kill a Mockingbird to remind us to practice kindness and sympathy – regardless of the despair, injustice and inequality we see in the world. Like Scout and Jem, we shall not let such acts of cruelty soil our faith, and our belief that goodness always prevails. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.

Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.
That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird


The God of Small Things and the Talkhiyan within it

Being one who has always found solace amid books, I quickly began to recognize that the allure of a memorable book lies not within deceptive and gimmicky plot lines. Rather, such charm and magic will only be found in a story that begs to be understood. The God of Small Things by Arundhathi Roy encompasses that particular charm as it has truly found a niche, deep within my thoughts… Those who know me, will certainly testify to this statement.

…the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably.

Roy narrates the tale of twins, Estha and Rahel, who are marred by their society’s intolerance for the atypical. Estha and Rahel experience the ultimate tragedy – premature loss of innocence. The twins encounter several tragedies, such as the molestation of Estha and the death of their mother, which are inherently the result of their society’s negligence.

By then Esthappen and Rahel had learned that the world had other ways of breaking men. They were already familiar with the smell. Sicksweet. Like old roses on a breeze. (1.39)

Certainly, the loss of innocence is akin to killing a mockingbird, as an innocent child is exposed to the world’s ways of breaking men. Roy brilliantly depicts this tragedy through striking imagery and profound diction. Needless to say, I wholeheartedly recommend The God of Small Things.

Beyond The God of Small Things, I have been deeply moved by its TV adaption, Talkhiyan.

Mere Maazi Ko Andhere Mein Daba Rahne Do
Mera Maazi Meri Zillat Ke Siwa Kuchh bhi Nahin

Express Entertainment, a Pakistani entertainment channel had been home to the weekly series. Adhering to the essential themes and conflicts, writer, Bee Gul and director, Khalid Ahmed, transformed the novel into a Pakistani oriented, Urdu drama. The entire cast awe-insprisingly brought life into Roy’s characters as they efficaciously alluded to prominent motifs within the book – hypocrisy, bitterness and the loss of innocence.  Indeed, Talkhiyan is very unique to typical, run-of-the-mill Pakistani drama serials, which makes this initiative even more remarkable. I encourage my (very limited, but greatly cherished) readers to indulge in the world of The God of Small Things and allow yourself to sense the talkhiyan (Urdu/noun; bitterness) within it.