Gidh is the Urdu word for a vulture and Raja is a Hindi synonym for king. The name anticipates the kingdom of vultures. In fact, parallel to the main plot of the novel, an allegorical story of such a kingdom is narrated. Aftab belongs to a Kashmiri business family.
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I was surprised at the direction it took, the sensitive issues it tackled and how it laid bare the struggles and psyche of men and women of all classes. People like me live in a cocoon of safety and blissful ignorance and like to pretend that there is nothing wrong with the world. Raja Gidh was. Raja Gidh was actually a wakeup call for me, reminding me that these social issues are real. It follows Qayyum, a middle-class man hailing from a rural background, who falls deeply and irrevocably in love with his university friend Seemi who is already in love with someone else.
Vultures are compared with human beings quite logically. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem?
Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Gidh is the Urdu word for a vulture and Raja is a Hindi synonym for king. The name anticipates the kingdom of vultures. In fact, parallel to the main plot of the novel, an allegorical story of such a kingdom is narrated. The metaphor of the vulture as an animal feeding mostly on the carcasses of dead animals is employed to portray the trespassing of ethical limits imposed by the society or by the religion.
Bano Qudsia has written this novel drawing on the religious concept of Haraam and Halaal. Many readers tend to interpret Raja Gidh as a sermon, in which Bano Qudsia puts forth her theory of hereditary transmission of Haraam genes. Naturally the plot is woven to support the thesis. In the opinion of many readers and critics she manages to convince them that the pursuance of Haraam, be it financial, moral or emotional, results in the deterioration of a person's normality in some sense. She seems to suggest that the abnormality is transferred genetically to the next generation.
Apart from the above implication the novel has many social, emotional and psychological aspects. The nostalgic narration of the historical Government College Lahore and of the Lawrence Garden Lahore lights upon the days of seventies and eighties.
Bano Qudsia is among those Urdu writers who would think ten times before writing a sentence. But she does not sacrifice the flow of the narrative anywhere in this novel. Her characters are not black and white ones as some of the critics would like to suggest. Every sensitive reader who has attended a college or a university in a Pakistani setting is bound to find some similarities between themselves and one of the characters.
Plot: Seemin Shah, hailing from an upper middle class family, falls in love with her handsome class fellow Aftab in the MA Sociology class at Government College Lahore. Seemin is a modern and attractive urban girl and attracts most of her male class fellows, including the narrator abdul Qayyum and the young liberal professor Suhail.
Aftab belongs to a Kashmiri business family. Though he also loves her, he can not rise above his family values and succumbs to his parent's pressure to marry someone against his wishes and leave for London to look after his family business. Now the long story of separation begins. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published by Sang-e-Meel Publications first published More Details Original Title. Adamjee Literary Award for Urdu Prose Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Naveed Yar Khan There is no translation yet as far as I know Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4.
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 13, Abubakar Mehdi rated it liked it. Bano Qudsia belongs to the post-independence scholars, poets and intellectuals who filled the void created by separation of Urdu from its birthplace.
The tradition of novel in Urdu is not as strong as compared to that of Afsaana short story. From Prem Chand to Manto, there is a huge number of short story writers who gifted urdu literature with gems of Afsaana nigari, but unfortunately, apart from some isolated efforts the trend of novel writing, to my limited knowledge, has been stagnated for Bano Qudsia belongs to the post-independence scholars, poets and intellectuals who filled the void created by separation of Urdu from its birthplace.
From Prem Chand to Manto, there is a huge number of short story writers who gifted urdu literature with gems of Afsaana nigari, but unfortunately, apart from some isolated efforts the trend of novel writing, to my limited knowledge, has been stagnated for long time.
So in a state of such paucity, this particular book is a priceless piece of literature. Beautifully written, impeccably crafted and surprisingly bold, this book deserves to be translated and spread across the world so that lovers of literature enjoy this gem of a book.
Qudsia is very bold and thought provoking, she asks the right questions and depicts human psyche with absolute perfection. There is humor, pain, sadness and struggle. Love reaches its perfection only when it is unfulfilled, unsatisfied and unrequited, only then it shows its truer side.
This book is an amalgamation of many emotions and experiences and it does discuss the subject of haram, but does not solely endorse it. A perfect book, a must read for anyone who can read Urdu. Thorough, inquisitive, painful, and all that a good book should be. View all 12 comments. Apr 25, Amna rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , urdu. I don't know why we no longer have writers like Bano Qudsiyah and novels like raja gidh. We have done something seriously wrong with our literature.
Now every novel has a same story line of a spoiled rich boy falling in love with a religious girl and himself turning into a "molvi" as a result. Almost every novel follows a religious theme with a super pious girl who knows nothing about the world. I mean why are we turning into such religion snobs. I do not have anything against religion, but not I don't know why we no longer have writers like Bano Qudsiyah and novels like raja gidh. I do not have anything against religion, but not everyone follows religion so much extremely and we are destroying our literature by these recurring themes.
The mention of abuse and violence is a taboo in our modern literature though all these things prevail in our society. Not mentioning them won't remove them from our society. Just because of this I stopped reading modern urdu literature. I only read old Urdu classics and english literature now. I started this novel with apprehension because I don't have a good experience with hyped up Urdu novels. They usually follow the same plot and story line.
But surprisingly I loved this novel. Bano Qudsiyah is undoubtedly a great and bold writer. The way she writes about the love triangle of Semi, Qayyum and Aftab is exceptionally good. The character of Semi is very bold and she does not hesitate to claim her love for Aftab or asking about his sexual preferences. I love the boldness of her character. It is completely ridiculous, but he is a true stereotype.
Qayyum is a village boy who fells in love with modern super rich Semi. But Semi loves Afab while Aftab loves his family status more than he loves Semi. Then there is Prof. I love his character and his views and opinions on things.
But this story is not just about a love triangle, it has much more in it. The way author compares a vulture with a modern man is phenomenal and it is very true and sometimes disturbing.
But I don't want to spoil it for anybody. Though if you want to read it you have to be open minded and accepting because this book discuss many delicate topics which are taboo in our society.
Sorry for a super long review, but I really want everyone to read it and see how beautiful was our literature, before we destroyed it by our religious extremism and so called social and cultural values. View all 11 comments. View all 4 comments.
Raja Gidh / راجه گدھ