The Spider Cave

Book review: Anari Part 2 of 9 by Ahmed Iqbal

Posted on: August 25, 2013

509) Anari Part 2 of 9 by Ahmed Iqbal

272 Digest Pages

Date I Read: August 2013

Language: Urdu

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The story of Rafeeq continues in part 2 where he has to face a lot of problems. As they say, more money more problems. And now he has a handful of both. Rafeeq’s lost ancestors had a grand castle and some land which luckily was transferred to Rafeeq as the last owner passed away. And now Rafeeq has to handle the huge task of handling all this and above all in the country of Pakistan where living is hell (well as described by the author after reading this).

In this part the story advanced really well. Iqbal put the foot on the accelerator and I have to praise him for one particular thing. He did not derail the story at all. He did not stretch the side stories too far so that the original storyline gets wiped out from the reader’s mind. Instead he kept the story in mind and increased the pace. Its true, the main storyline, you would think is how Rafeeq manages to run a whole castle and the land with it but there are problems with it and this part deals with those as well as the construction of the castle (or call it a haweli, like a mini castle).

Three main things happens in this part. One is a plot against Rafeeq by Sultan who is his enemy because of Faryal (Rafeeq’s lover now). Sultan is after Faryal because they were engaged and then Faryal did a runner and came to Rafeeq after seeing the film which Sultan directed (heroine was Faryal) flopped. Second is the emotional story of Kasoo and this opens up the main rivalry between Rana Rajab and Rafeeq. Kasoo is a servant of Rana and something happens which made Kasoo come to Rafeeq and now Rana wants him back accusing him of treason. Rafeeq, of course, do not want to give Kasoo back because he knows that Rana being cruel as he is will bury Kasoo alive. Third is a tragedy which I won’t spoil and it is very sad. The whole tone of the book changes to sad, emotional and sombre and the author handles it very well.

All the characters seem real. My favourite is Raja, a journalist and a crime reporter who has connections to the top dogs. Half of Rafeeq’s work gets done because of him. The character development is amazing in this part. I agree part 1 was a set up and there was a lot of history which I enjoyed reading too but there wasn’t much character development so the story was lacking. But in this part, the author pushed the characters through a lot and it developed them good.

I guess the main theme of this part in particular was bribery and how common it is in our culture in Pakistan. People don’t even think twice before bribing someone. You can get everything done if you show the money. You can buy a police officer or a judge. Whatever you want. It is sad to say but it is true. And people depend on each other so people are forced to take bribes and get involved. In this story there is a lot of ruthlessness involved particularly the tribal area and the nawabs who are very ruthless and backward and they would stoop to any level to get something done.

Rafeeq as a character is amazing. He is a regular guy and he is forced to work with the corrupt system. He is not a hero. Sometimes you see him struggling with things, frustrated even. And you feel for him. It is so real. I really like this aspect about it.

I can’t see anything negative about this part. Everything is in order and the story is set up for more action.

The author handles the relationships with ease. There are some ‘happy’ moments where we see the work get done in the Haweli and the security and everything. Everyone is happy and interacting with each other well. Then problems arrive and they just have to deal with it.

I would rate it 4 out of 10. Excited to read more.

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