|Tahir and Haleema at their 25 th wedding anniversary recently|
Recently, Tahir drew my attention to a review of his novel by Irfan Javed in Pakistan’s Friday Times. Here it is: “The most conspicuous and ground breaking novel appeared at the end of 2013 in literary magazine “Aaj”. Canada based writer Tahir Aslam Gora’s “Rung Mahal” is a riveting account of the lives of the Pakistani diaspora in Canada. Its diction is original, eloquent, absorbing and innovative. It has taken an Urdu fiction writer more than half a century, after Manto, to garner enough courage to express human sexuality in a popular idiom. It portrays the lives and psychological conflicts of Pakistanis based in Canada, with a rare insight into revealing glimpses of personal experiences. The story shuttles between the past and the present, bringing to life characters that follow their adopted country’s life style alongside those whose insecurity in an alien world pushes them to seek refuge in extreme versions of religion. Unfortunately the story ends rather abruptly but leaves enough room for a sequel. At times I felt that the excessive dose of sensuality laced with out-of-place sexual content was unnecessary and extraneous. It is a blessing that religious zealots don’t read literary novels any more, otherwise by now its publisher would have sought refuge in Canada along with Mr. Gora.”
That is undoubtedly wholesome praise.