The Wandering Falcon PDF à The Wandering Epub /

The Wandering Falcon PDF à The Wandering Epub /


    The Wandering Falcon PDF à The Wandering Epub / story is an essential glimpse into a hidden world one that has enormous geopolitical significance today and still remains largely a mystery to us Jamil Ahmad is a storyteller in the classic sense there is an authenticity and wisdom to his writing that harkens back to another time The Wandering Falcon reminds us why we read and how vital fiction is in opening new worlds to our imagination and understanding Traditions that have lasted for centuries both brutal and beautiful create a rigid structure for life in the wild astonishing place where Iran Pakistan and Afghanistan meet the Federally Administered Tribal Areas FATA Ahmad has written an unforgettable portrait of a world of custom and compassion of love and cruelty of hardship and survival."/>
  • Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • The Wandering Falcon
  • Jamil Ahmad
  • English
  • 14 September 2019
  • 1594486166

10 thoughts on “The Wandering Falcon

  1. Jeanette (Again) Jeanette (Again) says:

    This is pretty interesting for a novel with no continuous plot and no appreciable character development It was written by an eighty year old man who had a long civil service career in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas around the Pakistan Afghanistan border This is where the book is set The chapters are only loosely connected, giving a broad view of the customs, laws, and lifestyles of the numerous tribes occupying the region Their values and attitudes are so foreign to the Western mind This is pretty interesting for a novel with no continuous plot and no appreciable character development It was written by an eighty year old man who had a long civil service career in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas around the Pakistan Afghanistan border This is where the book is set The chapters are only loosely connected, giving a broad view of the customs, laws, and lifestyles of the numerous tribes occupying the region Their values and attitudes are so foreign to the Western mind, it s no wonder we have so little success when we try to meddle in their affairs Jamil Ahmad s writing is quite accomplished in its simplicity It often has the quality of stories delivered in the oral tradition, but he addsdetail and nuance The book is short on humor, but I laughed long and hard when a beautiful woman said to an ogling soldier,You, there, who has been staring at me for a long time Do you not know that you are smaller than my husband s organ


  2. Nandakishore Varma Nandakishore Varma says:

    A caveat at the beginning I read this book in Malayalam translation, and pretty bad translation at that It may be better in the original Jamil Ahmad was a civil servant in the Pakistan Civil Services, and he worked extensively in the hilly regions which serve as the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iran These places are mostly inhabited by nomadic tribes who largely play by their own rules nations and governments mean nothing to them During his long tenure, Ahmad had the cha A caveat at the beginning I read this book in Malayalam translation, and pretty bad translation at that It may be better in the original Jamil Ahmad was a civil servant in the Pakistan Civil Services, and he worked extensively in the hilly regions which serve as the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iran These places are mostly inhabited by nomadic tribes who largely play by their own rules nations and governments mean nothing to them During his long tenure, Ahmad had the chance to interact with these people extensively, and this book is the result of those interactions.This could be called a picaresque novel though it would be better to term it a set of connected stories, linked by the character Tor Baz who is born in the first story and is seen as a young man, maybe in his thirties, in the last The time period, though not explicitly mentioned, must be the years immediately after the British left the subcontinent Pakistan as a fledgling state was in the throes of formation, and one can see the bewilderment of these wandering tribes in the sudden appearance of impermeable national boundaries.The novel starts with a couple of refugees reaching a border outpost they are an illicitly wed couple on the run from the girl s father who is the tribal chieftain and her husband, whom she has abandoned to elope with her lover They ask for asylum, which the soldiers cannot give, as they are forbidden to meddle in tribal matters They agree to give them shelter, however their stay drags on for a few years for the woman to give birth to a child, before they are discovered by her father s people.On the run again, nemesis finally catches up with them The man does what they have always planned he shoots the woman and their c, and offers up the five year old child to her father, as her daughter s blood and eligible for protection of the tribe Then he meets his fate, which is being stoned to death for adultery The child, however, is not taken by the tribe and left near the deadcamel to be discovered and rescued by a group of outcast Baluchis, in the next story and the journey continuesThis child later named Tor Baz is only an incidental character, just a plot device to connect these tales in the later stories, his importance diminishes so that he becomes a mere shadow and that is the main weakness of this book The tales are actually about the various tribes of this wild region the Baluchis, the Afridis, the Kharots, the Mahzoods, the Wazirs and many others about how these hardy people carry on with their lives in this practically inhospitable region, and the violence and rough justice that is part of their existence The backdrop of the story is fascinating however, after the initial chapters, the novel loses steam The narrative is too jumbled to keep one s interest the POV shifts to the first person for just one chapter something I found totally bizarre , and Tor Baz is there just as sort of timekeeper, just to tell the readers that so many years have elapsed since the first tale And the final two three chapters were a real let down and the ending was totally lame.However, I give it three stars for introducing me to this enchanting universe


  3. Aubrey Aubrey says:

    Recent events led me to starting this book, a choice that I now think I should have made ages ago Then again, an earlier reading would not have resulted in the same breed of appreciation, not while I continued to adhere to the common formula of treating literature and politics as distinct and isolated entities This is not to say that my interpretation is based on the current flavor of toxic vomit circulating in US media in regards to Pakistan, but rather that I acknowledged its insidious exist Recent events led me to starting this book, a choice that I now think I should have made ages ago Then again, an earlier reading would not have resulted in the same breed of appreciation, not while I continued to adhere to the common formula of treating literature and politics as distinct and isolated entities This is not to say that my interpretation is based on the current flavor of toxic vomit circulating in US media in regards to Pakistan, but rather that I acknowledged its insidious existence and stepped around accordingly I will never be successful at such careful endeavors so long as my country s fetish for war eyes the lands described in this book indeed I m likely presuming too much when I consider my ingrained prejudice will stop in accordance with the times , but this work went well enough for me to look forward to .A single word that comes to mind in conjunction with this work is unassuming I don t say this in the much abused small town Americana or the tiny village Britannica senses of the word, but in efforts to describe the exact prose, the mix of mental insight and physical description, and the matter of fact observation of death, madness, and the cruelty of both environment and human being It would make for a quick read if Ahmad didn t glide over a great deal of the myriad cultures and all their clashes within each of the nine links of stories, spending no longer than was necessary to paint a landscape and or ideological picture before following his Tor Baz, the Wandering Falcon, on the next leg of his journey The resulting read is both swift, yet sure.In regards to the low rating, I have my suspicions that people came in for the hysterical badgering of terrorists and those who are popularly known as such in US media for springing out of convenient vacuums Instead, you will find desert winds of insanity birthing duration, colonialism, views of World War I in a far less mentioned part of the planet, the brutally jarring alignment of standing cities and migrating tribes, strength, persistence, and a world not as far removed from the United States as its politicians would like to think Misogyny would be a common indictment of this, but there is a vast divide between the facts of a culture and the mentality of the author, and I did not find anything in the latter that encouraged a hatred of women As for the selling of others, capitalism does this under the table in farloftier institutions with the lives of millions and the capital of billions, so it is not something I can judge In regards to everything else, the author never scorned nor mocked his characters and the ways in which they interacted with the world, so it would not begrudge me to do the same.One last thing I must mention is the delightfully engaging scene of the planning, performing, and resolving of a kidnapping It may be nostalgia for the Arabian Nights and other aspects parsed through Disney and the like that s doing it, but as I am nowthan ever intrigued in my four volume set of the former, I d say it worked out


  4. Anum S. Anum S. says:

    This book has a very weird format The weirdest I ve read yet, because it seems to be composed of disparate short stories, which then link with each other with our protagonist as the common point And of course other authors have also used this particular format of writing, some with quite a reasonable amount of success, but what s weird here is that some of these short stories don t seem to be able to stand on their own, reading as chapters in a larger narrative rather than as a cohesive whole This book has a very weird format The weirdest I ve read yet, because it seems to be composed of disparate short stories, which then link with each other with our protagonist as the common point And of course other authors have also used this particular format of writing, some with quite a reasonable amount of success, but what s weird here is that some of these short stories don t seem to be able to stand on their own, reading as chapters in a larger narrative rather than as a cohesive whole on their own Which means we shift from loosely linked short stories to two or three chapters of one continuing plot, and then back to clearly differentiated parts That isn t to say that the reading experience itself isn t good I actually really liked this series, with its exploration of the culture of an area of Pakistan that I don t get to read much of It is clear that Jamil Ahmad has written from a place of authority and experience his authorial notes mention the fact that as a member of the Civil Service of Pakistan, he served in the Frontier province and Balochistan area This exposure shines through in almost all his tales, not so much in the characters than in the tribal culture he describes and the ways in which the people over there live and what they believe So not only did the stories have a strong sense of being backed up by reality, they also introduced things that I had never heard of, and which frankly sounded a lot like fantasy world building to me In the tangle of crumbling, weather beaten and broken hills, where the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan meet, is a military outpost manned by two score soldiers.I hadn t realized that I had already read the first story in this collection until I got to the third page and recognized it as an entry in Granta s Pakistan edition It was possibly one of the best stories in that anthology, and I still remember loving the tale of a couple who eloped and were being hunted Even though it had such a heart breaking ending, I really liked the sparse, minimalistic writing style something I ve actively been against in my usual reading experience as well as how true to the story s narrative the author remained Jamil Ahmed remains consistent in both his writing style as well as in his descriptions of the rituals and cultures of the pre talibanised tribal areas in the junction of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran borders that our characters inhabit The character who survives the first tale, Tor Baz, is the wandering falcon of this series who drifts between all these stories, sometimes as a major player, other times barely a part of the overall narrative He snorted derisively To me only a few things are important and seeking out one s past is of little consequence What good comes of looking for it As a kid who is constantly moving from one group of caretakers to another, Tor Baz manages to exist on the periphery of multiple fascinating tales, all of whom blend in together to ensure that various themes get covered Not only do we have tales which focus on the individual, with themes of love and loyalty and passion, we also see the overall tribal culture, and how it treats matters of honour and honesty There are soldiers stationed at outposts and whole caravans on the move which face these soldiers, guns and camels pitted against each other Men and women in these stories are often the bearers of their own fate, with agency and an understanding of their surroundingsDo not talk to me of conscience What kind of a guide is it when it comforts the evil man in his labours no less willingly that another who struggles against wrong With nine short stories which wander from one narrative to another, there were moments when I found myself not really caring about what happened to the new crop of characters, especially when some endings felt inconclusive and abrupt It was at those moments when I felt like I would have preferred that this be a longer tale, one with a contained plot and a clear beginning, middle, and end Thankfully, those moments of irritation were few and far between, and this was primarily because the author does not attempt to sugar coat anything He offers no judgement in his writing, taking the role of an omnipresent narrator whose only job is to relay the events without inserting himself into the narrative.This form of storytelling which offers no critique of the horrible strands of misogyny, cruelty, and oppression within its tales is not my favourite, and has usually elicited quite strong feelings of anger from my end Which is why I was quite amazed at how well Jamil Ahmad managed to distance himself from the story without alienating the reader While I prefer that the good team defeat the bad and justice triumph over wickedness in the stuff I read, the minimal prose within this short volume prevents just that sort of overanalysing, which meant that I had to take the stories at face value, and rather than decrease their worth, it just added a whole new dimension of fascination to my reading experience RecommendationI d say give this a go purely because very little literature has been produced about the setting which Jamil Ahmad has chosen to write about It s entirely possible that there is abundant material in the regional languages of the area, but my lack of fluency in those languages limits me to the material being produced in English and Urdu, and within those languages, Jamil Ahmad is one of the few who has written such an interesting collection of stories set in the tribal areas Recommended ORIGINAL REVIEW Loads of really interesting stuff to discuss in here Review to come I review Pakistani Fiction, and talk about Pakistani fiction, and want to talk to people who like to talk about fiction Pakistani and otherwise, take your pick To readreviews or just contact me so you can talk about books, check out my Blog or follow me on Twitter


  5. Ali Ali says:

    Jamil Ahmad, The Wandering FalconJamil Ahmed is a talented writer and a gifted storyteller He offers rare insight into the remote regions of Pakistan the tribal belts Like the landscape itself, the characters portrayed in these short stories are desolate, crude, unyielding and grotesque in their own way.Although these very strange lands are an integral part of my motherland, it pains me to say that I ve never visited any of these places, and these very places with their crude yet riveting beau Jamil Ahmad, The Wandering FalconJamil Ahmed is a talented writer and a gifted storyteller He offers rare insight into the remote regions of Pakistan the tribal belts Like the landscape itself, the characters portrayed in these short stories are desolate, crude, unyielding and grotesque in their own way.Although these very strange lands are an integral part of my motherland, it pains me to say that I ve never visited any of these places, and these very places with their crude yet riveting beauty appear to the city dweller a far off dream, a mirage, a tale woven out of The Arabian Nights such is the plight of the modern, urban man Jamil had been in the civil services at lucrative posts in these parts, and therefore, his knowledge of the customs of these lands and their topography is insightful, and a rare treat to ignorant readers like myself.Jamil s language is crisp and effective make no mistake, he is no Gogol or Proust of his times, but what he does the art of storytelling he does that really well Ah, the whims of the heart ofttimes I imagined myself sitting around a bonfire with a group of people, riveted to the voice of an old man sitting a little further from us, all eyes fixed upon his wrinkled face a crescent moon smiling upon us, innumerable twinkling stars looking down upon us, listening intently to this withered, frail man in his eighties narrating these queer and heartrending tales But alas.Perhaps, the most striking aspect that is portrayed so aptly throughout these stories is the divide between the nomadic the tribal way of life and the metropolitan style of living sadly, instead of harmony and acceptance of other norms of life, what is most aggravating is the fact that certain power brokers for their ulterior motives have constituted policies, fomented pathways and hoodwinked the populace into believing a complete farce as the absolute, irrefutable truth, thus giving rise to polarization


  6. Jenny (Reading Envy) Jenny (Reading Envy) says:

    Bored me to tears, had to just let it go


  7. Barbara Mitchell Barbara Mitchell says:

    This is a difficult book to review, although I must say from the start that I truly enjoyed it If you read it, I have a suggestion Pretend that you are at a library or an outdoor event, in a group gathered around to listen to a great storyteller There is tea for everyone and perhaps some dates, nuts, and other little snacks Then the 80 year old Jamil Ahmad begins to tell strange and wonderful stories about the people of the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.He gives some idea of the h This is a difficult book to review, although I must say from the start that I truly enjoyed it If you read it, I have a suggestion Pretend that you are at a library or an outdoor event, in a group gathered around to listen to a great storyteller There is tea for everyone and perhaps some dates, nuts, and other little snacks Then the 80 year old Jamil Ahmad begins to tell strange and wonderful stories about the people of the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.He gives some idea of the harsh landscape and living conditions, but for the most part his stories are about the people he has worked among and understands Tribal leaders who make their point in meetings through parables, men who treat their animals better than their women, women who nevertheless manage to exert influence on decisions for the tribe, children who know instinctively who to trust.In short, this isn t a novel as you normally think of it A child, the Falcon, who is 5 years old in the first story is the thread upon which Ahmad weaves his fictional tales In another story he is 7, then 13, then a young man He appears in each tale but sometimes only in a cameo appearance The stories tell about the customs and unwritten laws by which the tribal people of this wild country govern their entire lives.I ve read a little about the city people of these countries but wanted to knowabout the mysterious tribal people This is Ahmad s first book, but I hope that even at his advanced age he will continue to tell these stories I highly recommend this book


  8. Amber Amber says:

    With a unique snippets like format, this book takes the reader into the deeper recesses of the cultural landscape of the tribal region of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran To me it seemed like a mini narrative to challenge the modern world s prevalent conceptions of society, culture, and above all the strict laws ruling the international borders Being a Pakistani who grew up marvelling in shock at each representation of the life in tribal areas via media i.e news and drama series , I must say t With a unique snippets like format, this book takes the reader into the deeper recesses of the cultural landscape of the tribal region of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran To me it seemed like a mini narrative to challenge the modern world s prevalent conceptions of society, culture, and above all the strict laws ruling the international borders Being a Pakistani who grew up marvelling in shock at each representation of the life in tribal areas via media i.e news and drama series , I must say that the book was very successful in shocking me evenby going into further insights of what life is like for tribal people and the way they think, feel and adjust to the harsh conditions surrounding them On the whole, a must read for anyone and everyone interested in unravelling the complexity that is the tribal system of this region


  9. Antigone Antigone says:

    Hope does not die like an animal quick and sudden It islike a plant, which slowly withers away.Jamil Ahmad spent most of his life working in the Pakistani Civil Service, a labor that stationed him in several remote territories along the Afghan border He was also, for a time, posted as a minister to the embassy in Kabul His long years tending to the concerns of these neighboring countries brought with them a comprehensive understanding and respect for the tribes and traditions he encou Hope does not die like an animal quick and sudden It islike a plant, which slowly withers away.Jamil Ahmad spent most of his life working in the Pakistani Civil Service, a labor that stationed him in several remote territories along the Afghan border He was also, for a time, posted as a minister to the embassy in Kabul His long years tending to the concerns of these neighboring countries brought with them a comprehensive understanding and respect for the tribes and traditions he encountered His experience fostered an ardent desire to set pen to paper to chronicle what he felt might very well be the waning days of a culture The Wandering Falcon is his only book, and an elegant achievement of that ideal.Offered through the graceful turns of a fable, Ahmad presents a series of encounters loosely strung around an orphaned boy who would come to be known as Tor Baz the black falcon His parents emerge from a sandstorm, barely alive and on the run His first guardian, the blind leader of a rag tag group of rebels, falls through his trust in a promise never made Down come the migratory Afghan highlanders, attempting to bring their herds to winter on the plains Tradition though this may be, it proves no match for the dictates of a civilizing regime Slaughter ensues, and a mad mullah, a ritual kidnapping a Jirgaand ever at each drama s periphery, the wandering Tor Baz.A rich slice of Afghan life and a reminder that we are, all of us, nomadic by the end


  10. Jennuineglass Jennuineglass says:

    This book gets the distinction of a one sitting read Aside from refilling my whiskey on the rocks, I just couldn t stop.Whichever publisher brought this book to fruition should get a bonus Everything about it was perfect Its cover w built in leaf flaps, the uneven page cuts, the coverwork, the size It s just a cozy book The voice of this first time author at 80 years young is unique It is, endearingly, unromanticized or critical of its characters He narrates tragedies and joys alike, This book gets the distinction of a one sitting read Aside from refilling my whiskey on the rocks, I just couldn t stop.Whichever publisher brought this book to fruition should get a bonus Everything about it was perfect Its cover w built in leaf flaps, the uneven page cuts, the coverwork, the size It s just a cozy book The voice of this first time author at 80 years young is unique It is, endearingly, unromanticized or critical of its characters He narrates tragedies and joys alike, with an unemotional and so it was detachment In this instance, the lack of character development worked well, because it is the way in which they live in their wasteland of a world You were here That happened It sucked Now we are moving on Come follow me reader to the next scene Which leaves the reader, me, free to absorb the strangeness of the world I know nothing about Learning about new worlds is always a plus in my books, so that s a star right there for it s insider view onto something new That new world being the harsh plains and ridges of Pakistan and Afghanistan and its nomad tribesa place seemingly unaware of words like carefree or easy Obviously my view is hugely skewed by being an American, a woman, and despite my best efforts, subjected to a bias media I think that is why the writing style worked so well, it was easier to digest the information given because until the last couple of chapters my emotions were not engaged and free of emotional pull I could simply go, hmmm that s an interesting way of doing things, The book cover leads you to believe that the Wandering Falcon is a character that grounds the book But it didn t feel that way It feltlike short stories with related characters that gave you a view of the landscape and it s people The Wandering Falcon was less a boy man, andlike the taxi you took to get from place to place.Conclusion Read this book, it s good It s different It s an unredacted look at a place that we don t get to see very often And it s not cased in international politics or religious agenda It simply is


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The Wandering Falcon☂ [PDF / Epub] ☁ The Wandering Falcon By Jamil Ahmad ✐ – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk For readers of Khaled Hosseini Daniyal Mueenuddin and Mohsin Hamid a remarkable award winning book about the tribes of Pakistan and Afghanistan In this extraordinary tale Tor Baz the young boy descend For readers of Khaled Hosseini Daniyal Mueenuddin and Mohsin Hamid a remarkable award winning book about the tribes of Pakistan and Afghanistan In this extraordinary tale Tor Baz the young boy descended from both chiefs and outlaws who becomes the The Wandering Epub / Wandering Falcon moves between the tribes of Pakistan and Afghanistan and their uncertain worlds full of brutality humanity deep love honor poverty and grace The wild area he travels the Federally Administered Tribal Area has become a political quagmire known for terrorism and inaccessibility Yet in these pages eighty year old debut author Jamil Ahmad lyrically and insightfully reveals the people who populate those lands their tribes and traditions and their older timeless ways in the face of sometimes ruthless modernity This story is an essential glimpse into a hidden world one that has enormous geopolitical significance today and still remains largely a mystery to us Jamil Ahmad is a storyteller in the classic sense there is an authenticity and wisdom to his writing that harkens back to another time The Wandering Falcon reminds us why we read and how vital fiction is in opening new worlds to our imagination and understanding Traditions that have lasted for centuries both brutal and beautiful create a rigid structure for life in the wild astonishing place where Iran Pakistan and Afghanistan meet the Federally Administered Tribal Areas FATA Ahmad has written an unforgettable portrait of a world of custom and compassion of love and cruelty of hardship and survival.


About the Author: Jamil Ahmad

Jamil Ahmad was one of the few English writers of Pakistani origin to have garnered attention outside his country Though his body of work was small and limited to one book, the Wandering Falcon and a short story, The Sins The Wandering Epub / of the Mother, he is considered as a major writer among Pakistani writers of English fictionJamil Ahmad was born in Punjab, in the erstwhile undivided India, in After early education in Lahore, he joined the civil service in ,and worked in the Swat valley, a remote Hindu Kush area, near Afghan border During his career, he worked at various remote areas such as the Frontier Province, Quetta, Chaghi, Khyber and Malakand He served for two decades among the nomadic tribes who inhabit one of the world s harshest and most geopolitically sensitive regions With his mesmerizing and lyrical tales, Ahmad illuminated the tribes fascinating attitudes and taboos, their ancient customs and traditions, and their fiercely held codes of honor He also served as the a minister at the Paksitani embassy in Kabul during the Sovient invasion of Afghanistan in He married Helga whom he met during his London years, who was critical of his early attempts at poetry but diligently tried to promote his work She painstakingly typed his handwritten manuscript on a typewriter with German keys The Wandering Falcon, published when he was , was nominated for Man Asian Prize in He lived in Islamabad, Pakistan at the time of his death.


10 thoughts on “The Wandering Falcon

  1. Jeanette (Again) Jeanette (Again) says:

    This is pretty interesting for a novel with no continuous plot and no appreciable character development It was written by an eighty year old man who had a long civil service career in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas around the Pakistan Afghanistan border This is where the book is set The chapters are only loosely connected, giving a broad view of the customs, laws, and lifestyles of the numerous tribes occupying the region Their values and attitudes are so foreign to the Western mind This is pretty interesting for a novel with no continuous plot and no appreciable character development It was written by an eighty year old man who had a long civil service career in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas around the Pakistan Afghanistan border This is where the book is set The chapters are only loosely connected, giving a broad view of the customs, laws, and lifestyles of the numerous tribes occupying the region Their values and attitudes are so foreign to the Western mind, it s no wonder we have so little success when we try to meddle in their affairs Jamil Ahmad s writing is quite accomplished in its simplicity It often has the quality of stories delivered in the oral tradition, but he addsdetail and nuance The book is short on humor, but I laughed long and hard when a beautiful woman said to an ogling soldier,You, there, who has been staring at me for a long time Do you not know that you are smaller than my husband s organ

  2. Nandakishore Varma Nandakishore Varma says:

    A caveat at the beginning I read this book in Malayalam translation, and pretty bad translation at that It may be better in the original Jamil Ahmad was a civil servant in the Pakistan Civil Services, and he worked extensively in the hilly regions which serve as the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iran These places are mostly inhabited by nomadic tribes who largely play by their own rules nations and governments mean nothing to them During his long tenure, Ahmad had the cha A caveat at the beginning I read this book in Malayalam translation, and pretty bad translation at that It may be better in the original Jamil Ahmad was a civil servant in the Pakistan Civil Services, and he worked extensively in the hilly regions which serve as the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iran These places are mostly inhabited by nomadic tribes who largely play by their own rules nations and governments mean nothing to them During his long tenure, Ahmad had the chance to interact with these people extensively, and this book is the result of those interactions.This could be called a picaresque novel though it would be better to term it a set of connected stories, linked by the character Tor Baz who is born in the first story and is seen as a young man, maybe in his thirties, in the last The time period, though not explicitly mentioned, must be the years immediately after the British left the subcontinent Pakistan as a fledgling state was in the throes of formation, and one can see the bewilderment of these wandering tribes in the sudden appearance of impermeable national boundaries.The novel starts with a couple of refugees reaching a border outpost they are an illicitly wed couple on the run from the girl s father who is the tribal chieftain and her husband, whom she has abandoned to elope with her lover They ask for asylum, which the soldiers cannot give, as they are forbidden to meddle in tribal matters They agree to give them shelter, however their stay drags on for a few years for the woman to give birth to a child, before they are discovered by her father s people.On the run again, nemesis finally catches up with them The man does what they have always planned he shoots the woman and their c, and offers up the five year old child to her father, as her daughter s blood and eligible for protection of the tribe Then he meets his fate, which is being stoned to death for adultery The child, however, is not taken by the tribe and left near the deadcamel to be discovered and rescued by a group of outcast Baluchis, in the next story and the journey continuesThis child later named Tor Baz is only an incidental character, just a plot device to connect these tales in the later stories, his importance diminishes so that he becomes a mere shadow and that is the main weakness of this book The tales are actually about the various tribes of this wild region the Baluchis, the Afridis, the Kharots, the Mahzoods, the Wazirs and many others about how these hardy people carry on with their lives in this practically inhospitable region, and the violence and rough justice that is part of their existence The backdrop of the story is fascinating however, after the initial chapters, the novel loses steam The narrative is too jumbled to keep one s interest the POV shifts to the first person for just one chapter something I found totally bizarre , and Tor Baz is there just as sort of timekeeper, just to tell the readers that so many years have elapsed since the first tale And the final two three chapters were a real let down and the ending was totally lame.However, I give it three stars for introducing me to this enchanting universe

  3. Aubrey Aubrey says:

    Recent events led me to starting this book, a choice that I now think I should have made ages ago Then again, an earlier reading would not have resulted in the same breed of appreciation, not while I continued to adhere to the common formula of treating literature and politics as distinct and isolated entities This is not to say that my interpretation is based on the current flavor of toxic vomit circulating in US media in regards to Pakistan, but rather that I acknowledged its insidious exist Recent events led me to starting this book, a choice that I now think I should have made ages ago Then again, an earlier reading would not have resulted in the same breed of appreciation, not while I continued to adhere to the common formula of treating literature and politics as distinct and isolated entities This is not to say that my interpretation is based on the current flavor of toxic vomit circulating in US media in regards to Pakistan, but rather that I acknowledged its insidious existence and stepped around accordingly I will never be successful at such careful endeavors so long as my country s fetish for war eyes the lands described in this book indeed I m likely presuming too much when I consider my ingrained prejudice will stop in accordance with the times , but this work went well enough for me to look forward to .A single word that comes to mind in conjunction with this work is unassuming I don t say this in the much abused small town Americana or the tiny village Britannica senses of the word, but in efforts to describe the exact prose, the mix of mental insight and physical description, and the matter of fact observation of death, madness, and the cruelty of both environment and human being It would make for a quick read if Ahmad didn t glide over a great deal of the myriad cultures and all their clashes within each of the nine links of stories, spending no longer than was necessary to paint a landscape and or ideological picture before following his Tor Baz, the Wandering Falcon, on the next leg of his journey The resulting read is both swift, yet sure.In regards to the low rating, I have my suspicions that people came in for the hysterical badgering of terrorists and those who are popularly known as such in US media for springing out of convenient vacuums Instead, you will find desert winds of insanity birthing duration, colonialism, views of World War I in a far less mentioned part of the planet, the brutally jarring alignment of standing cities and migrating tribes, strength, persistence, and a world not as far removed from the United States as its politicians would like to think Misogyny would be a common indictment of this, but there is a vast divide between the facts of a culture and the mentality of the author, and I did not find anything in the latter that encouraged a hatred of women As for the selling of others, capitalism does this under the table in farloftier institutions with the lives of millions and the capital of billions, so it is not something I can judge In regards to everything else, the author never scorned nor mocked his characters and the ways in which they interacted with the world, so it would not begrudge me to do the same.One last thing I must mention is the delightfully engaging scene of the planning, performing, and resolving of a kidnapping It may be nostalgia for the Arabian Nights and other aspects parsed through Disney and the like that s doing it, but as I am nowthan ever intrigued in my four volume set of the former, I d say it worked out

  4. Anum S. Anum S. says:

    This book has a very weird format The weirdest I ve read yet, because it seems to be composed of disparate short stories, which then link with each other with our protagonist as the common point And of course other authors have also used this particular format of writing, some with quite a reasonable amount of success, but what s weird here is that some of these short stories don t seem to be able to stand on their own, reading as chapters in a larger narrative rather than as a cohesive whole This book has a very weird format The weirdest I ve read yet, because it seems to be composed of disparate short stories, which then link with each other with our protagonist as the common point And of course other authors have also used this particular format of writing, some with quite a reasonable amount of success, but what s weird here is that some of these short stories don t seem to be able to stand on their own, reading as chapters in a larger narrative rather than as a cohesive whole on their own Which means we shift from loosely linked short stories to two or three chapters of one continuing plot, and then back to clearly differentiated parts That isn t to say that the reading experience itself isn t good I actually really liked this series, with its exploration of the culture of an area of Pakistan that I don t get to read much of It is clear that Jamil Ahmad has written from a place of authority and experience his authorial notes mention the fact that as a member of the Civil Service of Pakistan, he served in the Frontier province and Balochistan area This exposure shines through in almost all his tales, not so much in the characters than in the tribal culture he describes and the ways in which the people over there live and what they believe So not only did the stories have a strong sense of being backed up by reality, they also introduced things that I had never heard of, and which frankly sounded a lot like fantasy world building to me In the tangle of crumbling, weather beaten and broken hills, where the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan meet, is a military outpost manned by two score soldiers.I hadn t realized that I had already read the first story in this collection until I got to the third page and recognized it as an entry in Granta s Pakistan edition It was possibly one of the best stories in that anthology, and I still remember loving the tale of a couple who eloped and were being hunted Even though it had such a heart breaking ending, I really liked the sparse, minimalistic writing style something I ve actively been against in my usual reading experience as well as how true to the story s narrative the author remained Jamil Ahmed remains consistent in both his writing style as well as in his descriptions of the rituals and cultures of the pre talibanised tribal areas in the junction of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran borders that our characters inhabit The character who survives the first tale, Tor Baz, is the wandering falcon of this series who drifts between all these stories, sometimes as a major player, other times barely a part of the overall narrative He snorted derisively To me only a few things are important and seeking out one s past is of little consequence What good comes of looking for it As a kid who is constantly moving from one group of caretakers to another, Tor Baz manages to exist on the periphery of multiple fascinating tales, all of whom blend in together to ensure that various themes get covered Not only do we have tales which focus on the individual, with themes of love and loyalty and passion, we also see the overall tribal culture, and how it treats matters of honour and honesty There are soldiers stationed at outposts and whole caravans on the move which face these soldiers, guns and camels pitted against each other Men and women in these stories are often the bearers of their own fate, with agency and an understanding of their surroundingsDo not talk to me of conscience What kind of a guide is it when it comforts the evil man in his labours no less willingly that another who struggles against wrong With nine short stories which wander from one narrative to another, there were moments when I found myself not really caring about what happened to the new crop of characters, especially when some endings felt inconclusive and abrupt It was at those moments when I felt like I would have preferred that this be a longer tale, one with a contained plot and a clear beginning, middle, and end Thankfully, those moments of irritation were few and far between, and this was primarily because the author does not attempt to sugar coat anything He offers no judgement in his writing, taking the role of an omnipresent narrator whose only job is to relay the events without inserting himself into the narrative.This form of storytelling which offers no critique of the horrible strands of misogyny, cruelty, and oppression within its tales is not my favourite, and has usually elicited quite strong feelings of anger from my end Which is why I was quite amazed at how well Jamil Ahmad managed to distance himself from the story without alienating the reader While I prefer that the good team defeat the bad and justice triumph over wickedness in the stuff I read, the minimal prose within this short volume prevents just that sort of overanalysing, which meant that I had to take the stories at face value, and rather than decrease their worth, it just added a whole new dimension of fascination to my reading experience RecommendationI d say give this a go purely because very little literature has been produced about the setting which Jamil Ahmad has chosen to write about It s entirely possible that there is abundant material in the regional languages of the area, but my lack of fluency in those languages limits me to the material being produced in English and Urdu, and within those languages, Jamil Ahmad is one of the few who has written such an interesting collection of stories set in the tribal areas Recommended ORIGINAL REVIEW Loads of really interesting stuff to discuss in here Review to come I review Pakistani Fiction, and talk about Pakistani fiction, and want to talk to people who like to talk about fiction Pakistani and otherwise, take your pick To readreviews or just contact me so you can talk about books, check out my Blog or follow me on Twitter

  5. Ali Ali says:

    Jamil Ahmad, The Wandering FalconJamil Ahmed is a talented writer and a gifted storyteller He offers rare insight into the remote regions of Pakistan the tribal belts Like the landscape itself, the characters portrayed in these short stories are desolate, crude, unyielding and grotesque in their own way.Although these very strange lands are an integral part of my motherland, it pains me to say that I ve never visited any of these places, and these very places with their crude yet riveting beau Jamil Ahmad, The Wandering FalconJamil Ahmed is a talented writer and a gifted storyteller He offers rare insight into the remote regions of Pakistan the tribal belts Like the landscape itself, the characters portrayed in these short stories are desolate, crude, unyielding and grotesque in their own way.Although these very strange lands are an integral part of my motherland, it pains me to say that I ve never visited any of these places, and these very places with their crude yet riveting beauty appear to the city dweller a far off dream, a mirage, a tale woven out of The Arabian Nights such is the plight of the modern, urban man Jamil had been in the civil services at lucrative posts in these parts, and therefore, his knowledge of the customs of these lands and their topography is insightful, and a rare treat to ignorant readers like myself.Jamil s language is crisp and effective make no mistake, he is no Gogol or Proust of his times, but what he does the art of storytelling he does that really well Ah, the whims of the heart ofttimes I imagined myself sitting around a bonfire with a group of people, riveted to the voice of an old man sitting a little further from us, all eyes fixed upon his wrinkled face a crescent moon smiling upon us, innumerable twinkling stars looking down upon us, listening intently to this withered, frail man in his eighties narrating these queer and heartrending tales But alas.Perhaps, the most striking aspect that is portrayed so aptly throughout these stories is the divide between the nomadic the tribal way of life and the metropolitan style of living sadly, instead of harmony and acceptance of other norms of life, what is most aggravating is the fact that certain power brokers for their ulterior motives have constituted policies, fomented pathways and hoodwinked the populace into believing a complete farce as the absolute, irrefutable truth, thus giving rise to polarization

  6. Jenny (Reading Envy) Jenny (Reading Envy) says:

    Bored me to tears, had to just let it go

  7. Barbara Mitchell Barbara Mitchell says:

    This is a difficult book to review, although I must say from the start that I truly enjoyed it If you read it, I have a suggestion Pretend that you are at a library or an outdoor event, in a group gathered around to listen to a great storyteller There is tea for everyone and perhaps some dates, nuts, and other little snacks Then the 80 year old Jamil Ahmad begins to tell strange and wonderful stories about the people of the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.He gives some idea of the h This is a difficult book to review, although I must say from the start that I truly enjoyed it If you read it, I have a suggestion Pretend that you are at a library or an outdoor event, in a group gathered around to listen to a great storyteller There is tea for everyone and perhaps some dates, nuts, and other little snacks Then the 80 year old Jamil Ahmad begins to tell strange and wonderful stories about the people of the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.He gives some idea of the harsh landscape and living conditions, but for the most part his stories are about the people he has worked among and understands Tribal leaders who make their point in meetings through parables, men who treat their animals better than their women, women who nevertheless manage to exert influence on decisions for the tribe, children who know instinctively who to trust.In short, this isn t a novel as you normally think of it A child, the Falcon, who is 5 years old in the first story is the thread upon which Ahmad weaves his fictional tales In another story he is 7, then 13, then a young man He appears in each tale but sometimes only in a cameo appearance The stories tell about the customs and unwritten laws by which the tribal people of this wild country govern their entire lives.I ve read a little about the city people of these countries but wanted to knowabout the mysterious tribal people This is Ahmad s first book, but I hope that even at his advanced age he will continue to tell these stories I highly recommend this book

  8. Amber Amber says:

    With a unique snippets like format, this book takes the reader into the deeper recesses of the cultural landscape of the tribal region of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran To me it seemed like a mini narrative to challenge the modern world s prevalent conceptions of society, culture, and above all the strict laws ruling the international borders Being a Pakistani who grew up marvelling in shock at each representation of the life in tribal areas via media i.e news and drama series , I must say t With a unique snippets like format, this book takes the reader into the deeper recesses of the cultural landscape of the tribal region of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran To me it seemed like a mini narrative to challenge the modern world s prevalent conceptions of society, culture, and above all the strict laws ruling the international borders Being a Pakistani who grew up marvelling in shock at each representation of the life in tribal areas via media i.e news and drama series , I must say that the book was very successful in shocking me evenby going into further insights of what life is like for tribal people and the way they think, feel and adjust to the harsh conditions surrounding them On the whole, a must read for anyone and everyone interested in unravelling the complexity that is the tribal system of this region

  9. Antigone Antigone says:

    Hope does not die like an animal quick and sudden It islike a plant, which slowly withers away.Jamil Ahmad spent most of his life working in the Pakistani Civil Service, a labor that stationed him in several remote territories along the Afghan border He was also, for a time, posted as a minister to the embassy in Kabul His long years tending to the concerns of these neighboring countries brought with them a comprehensive understanding and respect for the tribes and traditions he encou Hope does not die like an animal quick and sudden It islike a plant, which slowly withers away.Jamil Ahmad spent most of his life working in the Pakistani Civil Service, a labor that stationed him in several remote territories along the Afghan border He was also, for a time, posted as a minister to the embassy in Kabul His long years tending to the concerns of these neighboring countries brought with them a comprehensive understanding and respect for the tribes and traditions he encountered His experience fostered an ardent desire to set pen to paper to chronicle what he felt might very well be the waning days of a culture The Wandering Falcon is his only book, and an elegant achievement of that ideal.Offered through the graceful turns of a fable, Ahmad presents a series of encounters loosely strung around an orphaned boy who would come to be known as Tor Baz the black falcon His parents emerge from a sandstorm, barely alive and on the run His first guardian, the blind leader of a rag tag group of rebels, falls through his trust in a promise never made Down come the migratory Afghan highlanders, attempting to bring their herds to winter on the plains Tradition though this may be, it proves no match for the dictates of a civilizing regime Slaughter ensues, and a mad mullah, a ritual kidnapping a Jirgaand ever at each drama s periphery, the wandering Tor Baz.A rich slice of Afghan life and a reminder that we are, all of us, nomadic by the end

  10. Jennuineglass Jennuineglass says:

    This book gets the distinction of a one sitting read Aside from refilling my whiskey on the rocks, I just couldn t stop.Whichever publisher brought this book to fruition should get a bonus Everything about it was perfect Its cover w built in leaf flaps, the uneven page cuts, the coverwork, the size It s just a cozy book The voice of this first time author at 80 years young is unique It is, endearingly, unromanticized or critical of its characters He narrates tragedies and joys alike, This book gets the distinction of a one sitting read Aside from refilling my whiskey on the rocks, I just couldn t stop.Whichever publisher brought this book to fruition should get a bonus Everything about it was perfect Its cover w built in leaf flaps, the uneven page cuts, the coverwork, the size It s just a cozy book The voice of this first time author at 80 years young is unique It is, endearingly, unromanticized or critical of its characters He narrates tragedies and joys alike, with an unemotional and so it was detachment In this instance, the lack of character development worked well, because it is the way in which they live in their wasteland of a world You were here That happened It sucked Now we are moving on Come follow me reader to the next scene Which leaves the reader, me, free to absorb the strangeness of the world I know nothing about Learning about new worlds is always a plus in my books, so that s a star right there for it s insider view onto something new That new world being the harsh plains and ridges of Pakistan and Afghanistan and its nomad tribesa place seemingly unaware of words like carefree or easy Obviously my view is hugely skewed by being an American, a woman, and despite my best efforts, subjected to a bias media I think that is why the writing style worked so well, it was easier to digest the information given because until the last couple of chapters my emotions were not engaged and free of emotional pull I could simply go, hmmm that s an interesting way of doing things, The book cover leads you to believe that the Wandering Falcon is a character that grounds the book But it didn t feel that way It feltlike short stories with related characters that gave you a view of the landscape and it s people The Wandering Falcon was less a boy man, andlike the taxi you took to get from place to place.Conclusion Read this book, it s good It s different It s an unredacted look at a place that we don t get to see very often And it s not cased in international politics or religious agenda It simply is

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