Aug 142007

Twist of Fates
Author: Afzal Shauq
Translated by: Alley Boling
Hard cover
Published by: Faizur Islam printers, Islamabad, Pakistan
Price: Rs 300
Pages: 41

By Sher Zaman Taizi
There was gambling for fate on the day of creation;
Some lost, Rahman, and some won good luck
— Rahman Baba
I once had a chance to meet Afzal Shauq in Karachi at the office of the weekly Roshan Pakistan, which resulted in our lasting intimacy. It was a monthly meeting of Jaras Pukhto Adabi Tolana, moderated by Tahir Afridi, a focal point in Karachi for Pashto literati from the NWFP and Balochistan, and conducted by Rahman Buneri.

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Jun 282007

Melissa Lundeen, Lenoir, North Carolina, USA

Although it is far too often implied, the pen is mightier than the sword well, if this indeed be so, then Afzal Shauq’s pen must be more like a lethal dagger. His words though small in their number, loom large in the eye. They pierce the heart so fiercely when they are read. I too must shamelessly confess was a victim of their ferocity like some loving violence speaking out from the pages with a hauntingly humble and beautiful voice. I have had long conversations with Afzal Shauq myself and found him to be sensitive and charming but nothing prepared me for how so very well I would get to know him just from reading his latest book of poems. I feel I know him far better now from that more so than any conversation we two could ever have had on any given day of the week and for whatever length of the duration. I learned this fact maybe twenty poems into his book.

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