Hameed Shahid’s Short Story Idaray Aur Aadmi (Institutions and men) Discussed in Halqa Meeting
ISLAMABAD: Feb 2: Short story Idaray aur Aadmi by writer Hameed Shahid was discussed at a weekly meeting of the Halqa Arbab-e-Zauq on a cold Islamabad evening on Saturday.
The short story was considered a continuation of the stories, Loth, Ganth and sawarg main sour written by Hameed Shahid earlier in the aftermath of 9/11 incidents. Outside pressures in the context of the unfavourable effects on employees and individuals in various organizations and insinuations was discussed by the audience in the context of the story. The deep psychological scares that the so-called “Golden handshakes” and premature retirements left on those who considered their institutions like a “mother”, were also highlighted, and it was thought that the use of a particular terminology has been successful in a realistic portrayal of a prototype of bureaucratic atmosphere.
The Idaray aur Aadmi (institutions and men), some thought, has shown the pain and anguish that has brought an aura of fear all around. It was eating at the very vitals of these organizations and on the whole had perhaps, merely succeeded in creating a void in these institutions; defeating the very purposes for which exercises to retrench employees are under taken. Speakers dealt with the concept of belonging to the land, which has been oftentimes described as the “mother earth.”
Vested interests, it was argued, were targeting that section of the society which along with the mother land, country and the ideologies that keeps the whole structure intact, is also genuinely interested in protecting the institutions “mother” workplace. The effort to destroy this “element’’, some speakers emphasized, continues. An extract (in translation): “whenever my boss would say that these institutions like a mother, I would remember my mother’s words: ‘Son’, land is like the mother which feeds its children’. Mother had uttered these words when I had tried to sell that single piece of land inherited from my father and through which we could sustain ourselves. Then my sister was also young and I was often frightened by her youth. Mother was also frightened. That’s why she had ultimately agreed to sell the land.’’
Urdu and Punjabi poetess Ayesha Aslam presided over the meeting that heard Akhtar Usman, Ali Mohammad Farshi, Rafiq Sandelvi, Mansha Yaad, Ravish Nadeem, Dawood Rizwan, Ghazanfar Abbas, Parveen Tahir, Khaleequr Rehman and Asif Nawaz, who took part in the discussion.
DAWN, February 3, 2003