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‚Äč981) Anari Part 7 of 9

Author: Ahmed Iqbal

Pages: 270 pages (digest) 

Date read: July 2016


There comes a moment when you are writing a long story when the writer wants to take a break. So what he does is he gives the characters in the story a break. He separates his main character from other usual supporting characters and takes him on a different journey in a different location. It happened in Sarkash when Mehmood Ahmed Moodi took Afzal to Sindh in Part 6. It was amazing. Of course you have to write it good, otherwise the reader will lose interest. 

Like I lost interest reading this. It was too much for Rafeeq. He was getting attacked by Rana (directly or indirectly) from left right and centre so he had to escape to London with Noor. About half of the pages of this part, he spent in London when Elisha kidnaps Noor and then attacks Rafeeq and goes mental. Finally Lord Ernest ended up giving Rafeeq his estate and business. 

All that is fine. The story was irrelevant and the author just kept dragging the story line on and on. The pacing was slow. He just made a mess. And another thing he was trying to give the impression that everyone is desperate to earn some pounds legally or illegally. He would make the characters go to random people and asking them if they wanna do something for five or ten pounds. The dialogues were robotic and repetitive. 

I just can’t wait to finish this story and start Shikari. 

979) Book: The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

Date started: 14/2/16
Date finished: 30/6/16
Length: 4275 loc
Format: Kindle Paperwhite

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After the Drawing of the Three, this medieval fantasy book was on my list of the road to Dark Tower. I am reading the connecting books in order following the mahfah (a blog post) list.

This was different. In a way, I am glad that I have finished it. It is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you like reading horror and drama then this is not for you. If you like reading Game of Thrones and the Wheel of Time then this is for you. Filled with narrations and everything. The reason it is connected to the Dark Tower is because the story happens in Delain, the world Roland the gunslinger comes from and the antagonist is a magician called Flagg. Yes, you got that right. The same Flagg from The Stand and the Dark Tower series. Except here he is different. In a way I felt he was more scarier than he was in The Stand. I know people will not agree with me here but that’s just how I feel.

The story is about a young king who gets prisoned wrongly accused of murdering his own father, the king. Flagg sees that the prince is imprisoned for life but the boy is brave and clever. A simple story with simple characters. That’s what I loved about it. And if you don’t mind reading chunky narrations and detail then this is for you.

I wanted to read this story quickly so I could move on to my next story and I am pretty excited to read that one. It is called The Talisman. I am going to start that now.

And also I am going on holidays next week for one week so I won’t be reading The Talisman but I’m gonna take a physical copy of Pet Semetary with me. Its short and easy. I think it would do a good holiday read.

Hello everyone, how are you doing? Yes I can blog sometimes apart from uploading what I’m reading and all that. And this year I’m going to go for NaNoWriMo.

Incase you don’t know what it is, I will tell you. You have a task of completing the first draft of your 50,000 word novel in 30 days in the month of November. You write that and submit it on the Nanowrimo.org website to get it validated and you’ve won.

It sounds easy but it is not actually. You lose motivation, the writer’s block is there and it haunts and stalks you for days. My first attempt was in 2012 and I lasted 3 days writing only 3k words. It was terrible but I had genuine work so there is a valid excuse for it.

Anyway this year, I have a couple of plots in mind. One of them is brewing in my mind for ages and I sort of do not want to write that in NaNo because it’s a precious plot. The thing about NaNoWriMo is you just have to write 50,000 words which make sense of course but you can write anything. The quality doesn’t matter. It’s the quantity that’s what we are looking for. The other plot is of a fantasy novel and I think 50k word is too short for it. I actually overdid that plot and now I’m thinking it requires two books to complete. Not that I’ve written anything that big. (I’m currently writing a fan fiction which I’m going to upload at fanfiction.net).

So now I’m gonna be not thinking much and writing a plot my brother told me about these evil fish in New York. I could name it Curse of the Fish or Fish Busters. It’s going to be random humour and adventure. I haven’t even written an outline for it.

And here is the fun part. I’m going to be doing a lot of dares in this. I will add my dares list at the end. But for now, tell me about yourself. Are you doing NaNoWriMo? What are you writing? I would love to hear. Please comment. I hope I will succeed next month. It would be lovely.

Here is the list of the dares for NaNoWriMo 2014. I will update my blog every 7th day (after a week) with my novel update. Good luck.

1. Begin your story with your MC looking into a mirror- but refusing to describe themselves.

2. Begin your story at a Halloween party.

3. Begin your story with someone spilling their coffee.

4. Have a character with a name of obvious character traits (Chastity, Charity, Grace, etc.) who is nothing like their name.

5. Have at least one character sneeze in every chapter.

6. Have your character drink more caffeinated beverages than you do during the month.

7. Have a character dream they’re in their underwear in at least 5 different public places.

8. Include the line “He/she was the best frenemy I ever had.”

9. Include the line: “He/she fell through a plot hole.”

10. Include the line: “How is it my fault that I was the last person at the scene of the crime?”

11. Include the line: “8 inches? Wow!”
BP if it’s not sexual at all

12. Include the line, “The park is a dangerous place!”
BP if someone dies at the park.

13. Have a character that only jumps out of windows to exit buildings
BP if the character smashes the window each time instead of opening it
DBP if the nearest door is already open

14. Have one character say: “I’m hungry” and have another character reply: “You know, I think they made a cure for that. It was called food, last time I checked.”
BP if it happens in a totally serious scene
DBP if you manage to pull it off without ruining the serious mood

15. Include the quote: “Death before dishonor, but neither before breakfast.”
BP if it’s not said in a war like context.
DBP if the person who says it never eats breakfast.

16. Two characters build a pillow fort
BP if both characters are 18+
DBP if it’s a serious scene
TBP if it’s a pivotal, earth-shattering moment

17. Make a character’s left shoe constantly come untied
BP if they fall on their face and make a friend
DBP if they discover something important while tying their shoe
TBP if they beat the villain by tripping on their shoelace and accidentally tackling them to the ground

18. Use the number 394 in your novel
BP if one character tells another to turn to that page of the book
DBP if the character who says it is a Potions Master/chemist/something similar
TBP if it has something to do with werewolves

19. Have one character who never speaks
BP if it’s because they are always interrupted
DBP if no one seems to notice except for said character
TBP if at the climax this character finally gets fed up and goes on a rant
Cookies if someone responds to their rant with: “Well why didn’t you just say so?”

20. Make somebody wear a pair of sunglasses all the time.
BP if nobody comments on it.
DBP if everybody comments on it.
TBP if them wearing sunglasses is a major plot point.
QBP if they aren’t a celebrity.

21. Pull a “Ron” from “A Very Potter Musical” and have a character who always has something to eat in their hands.
BP if its always something different
DBP if they show up a lot
TBP if at one point they have no food and no one notices
QBP if during that scene, a random person runs up and gives them food

22. Have a character who never swears, but instead uses the most elaborate and random outbursts you can think of
BP if they’re always at least five words long
DBP if they’re different every time
TBP if the other characters can’t decide whether it’s brilliant and funny, or pretentious and annoying
QBP if once – and only once – something happens which shocks or scares them so much that they can only answer with a single, four letter swear word.

23. Include the line: “Sorry about your coffee, I had to throw it at someone.”
BP if it’s said to the MC
DBP if it’s said by they MC
TBP if it was thrown at the love interest
Q(uadruple)BP if they didn’t miss
Q(uintuple)BP if the MC later gets a coffee in the face

24. Have a character be obsessed with Monopoly
BP if they always lose
DBP if they throw a temper tantrum each time they lose
TBP if the climax involves an intense game of Monopoly in which:
someone does pushups -or-
someone cries -or-
someone flips the board
Cookies if all three happen
Brownies if this game takes place in a bathtub

25. Include at least five advertising slogans somewhere in your novel. Doesn’t matter how, just that they’re there. For example:
Just do it. (Nike)
I’m lovin’ it. (McDonalds)
Eat fresh. (Subway)
Have it your way. (Burger King)
Life tastes good. (Coca Cola)
Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.
Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. (M&Ms)
Nobody does chicken like KFC.
Obey your thirst. (Sprite)
So easy a caveman can do it. (GIECO)
There’s always room for Jell-O.
The snack that smiles back. (Goldfish)
The way a sandwich should be. (Subway)

26. Try having at least one small part of the book where (I know this is weird but just bear with me) you have the mc doing some hygiene.  (ex. using the toilet, taking a shower, shaving, etc.)  This is not only funny and will up your word count, but it also gives the reader a stronger sense of relativity to the book, than just having the mc like a no-potty needed superhero.

Double bonus points:  They do it in a public place

Triple bonus points:  They’re in a city like NYC and argue with the business proprietor about whether or not they can use the bathroom if they haven’t bought anything yet.  Like one time I went into a Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robins to use the bathroom and they were like you need to buy something and I’m like I’m not going to sit on the toilet eating, that’s undignified!  I’ll buy something after I piss!  And then I got kicked out.  Anyways.  This scenario can be adjusted for whatever setting you have, not just present-day NYC.

Quadruple bonus points:  They get into an argument with the proprietor about using the toilet and end up taking a piss on the floor or on the street right outside.

Quintuple bonus points:  Your character is homeless or traveling and therefore runs into this problem ALL THE TIME.  (Fun fact: the thing people always ask about living in Zuccotti Park has nothing to do with politics… it’s always “where did you use the bathroom?”)

Sextuple bonus points and lots and lots of extra words:  Your character gets arrested while peeing outside.

27. Write a series of 26 paragraphs that cycle through the alphabet. (First paragraph starts with A, the next with B, etc)

x2 if you do this more than once

x3 if you do this once every chapter

x4 if this is how every chapter starts

x5 if the very first paragraph of a chapter doesn’t count and is used in a separate cycle that follows the chapters. (Chapter one begins with A, two begins with B, etc.)

28. The 2nd thru 27th paragraphs of each chapter can either run A-Z or pick up where the first paragraph left off. For example, chapter eight, paragraph one begins with H. The next 26 paragraphs run I-H; for the following chapter, these paragraphs would run J-I.

29. Make there be a forest with an eyeball shooting acid.

x2 if there are two eyeballs.

x3 if there are also rocks falling from the sky

x4 if the rocks are caving the main character in a rock closet.

x5 if there are skeletons in the rock closet.”

30. Include a character who speaks in haiku.

BP if the character doesn’t realize they’re speaking in haiku.

DBP if everyone else speaks in haiku when they’re around this character.

31. Have your characters get involved in a food fight.

Bonus points if it takes place in a place you wouldn’t expect a food fight — a five-star restaurant, a wedding reception, etc.

Double bonus points if it takes more than 1667 words to describe.

Triple bonus points if it’s important to the plot

518) Anari Part 4 of 9 by Ahmed Iqbal

271 pages

Read 30 and 31/8/2013

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Rafeeq and Raja are very busy planning and plotting to free Dr Shehnaaz. They end up kidnapping Rana’s daughter (Gul) who was coming from London. Gul after knowing how cruel her father is decides to tell the court everything about her father’s crimes. Dr Shehnaaz comes back but Gul gets shot down (supposedly by her father). The welfare project inches forward a little bit but Faryal leaves and Noor Jahan is in trouble.

I had already read these episodes from suspense digest but it’s good to refresh the mind. Noor Jahan is an interesting character and I am looking forward to her.

516) Anari Part 3 of 9 by Ahmed Iqbal

Date I Read: 26/8/13 to 29/8/13

271 pages

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As usual the plot thickens as Rafeeq gets himself involved and then as a result new enemies born. Well the old enemy just gets more wild. I’m talking about Rana.

I really enjoyed this part. It was pretty fast paced and lots of thing happen. Firstly Rafeeq gets blackmailed left right and centre because of his Uncle’s (sufi chacha) but he dies and that finishes. Then a lot happens regarding Shami Badshah. The whole Ghulam Muhammed and Shahab ud Deen story line gets solved.

Things get ugly between Faryal and Rafeeq and the reason is this one woman. Enter, Noor Jahan. She invites Rafeeq to spend nights with her and in return she gives him tips on what’s happening with his enemies.

And one person gets kidnapped and the struggle continues but problems come out of problems.

I’m starting to hate Faryal now too. She is way too possessive. The story shows and shines some light on the daaku (thieves) and ‘jarga’ system which still happens to be in place.

Rating would be 4 out of 5. It just keeps getting better.

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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Language: Urdu
Length: 272 Digest Pages
Read over 10 days in 23 hours and 43 minutes in 9 sessions.

This is a famous story which was publishing monthly in a famous digest called suspense. I started reading at episode 30 and ended at episode 50 so safe to say I have read a good middle chunk. But good to read from the start now that it is available in the book form.

It is a story of a student called Rafeeq who gets a call from his home Pakistan that he should return as soon as possible because his luck has been split open.

After some complications he finally comes to Pakistan where he finds that a vast land has been kept behind for him by his ancestors. He takes control of the land and goes to visit it. There is a big mansion which is rusting away. Soon Rafeeq finds that the servants who work there are not fully honest and something suspicious is happening within the boundaries of his land.

He confronts his rival, Rana Rajab Ali whose land is next to his. Their rivalry starts.

A nice start of a long novel. Most of it was the history of the land, how it came to Rafeeq. At times you feel the story is being stretched but it is the skill of the author that he never lets you get bored. Just sometimes the story goes sidetracked but always comes back with a bang. Will look forward reading the next parts.


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