Published Date: Mar 4, 2012
BLUE DUST ? HIGHLIGHTING RELIGIOUS, SOCIAL DISTINCTIONS
The first novel by writer and poetess Aysha Salman titled ‘Blue Dust’ was officially launched at Kuch Khaas, the Centre for Arts, Culture and Dialogue, on Saturday.
Speakers at the launch included poet and writer Harris Khalique, writer Dr Iffat Idris and the author of the novel, Ayesha Salman.
‘Blue Dust’ is an emotional, philosophical and cultural journey that maps relationships, dreams, hopes and fears of three generations of a family in Pakistan and the Middle East.
It’s an emotional journey of the writer in which the central character is a loving girl who struggles largely with insecurities in her relationships and the world she is born into. Through the story of this family, the author also explored broad issues in Pakistan, related to class, religious and social distinctions.
A large number of readers attended the ceremony and raised several questions related to the novel, which Ayesha Salman was more than happy to answer.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Iffat Idris commended the work of the author and spoke on Ayesha’s personal struggle, trials and tribulations that culminated in the writing of ‘Blue Dust’.
After an emotional personal account, she asked author to read a few excerpts from the novel.
Ayesha explained the message and motive behind her novel and spoke on issues that she had tried to address in the novel, such as sexual abuse, sexual repression, class and religious discrimination.
She read few excerpts from her novel and went on to commend the new Pakistani writers like Mohsin Hamid, HM Naqvi and Shehryar Fazli, who, according to her, were making a difference by talking about important social issues in Pakistan.
She also mentioned filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinnoy who has made Pakistan proud by winning an Oscar. She thanked the people for their appreciation for the book and offered a special thanks to her father, Zulfiqar Ali, who she said was a great inspiration for the novel.
Poet Harris Khalique said the novel was woven with a passion to understand the complexity of existence, adding that the prose was highly imaginative and the expression was humane and sensitive.
“Ayesha Salman’s writing is rooted in her personal experience with keen observation of life attached to her, not just around her. She writes as if she is a protagonist and part of the ‘subject matter’ herself. It is a sharp inner voice that can be heard through her writing,” he said.
Ayesha Salman was born in the UK and grew up in the Middle East. She studied Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, after which she moved to Pakistan where she is now settled.
She is a writer and poet. Her poems have been published in several literary journals in the UK, including Smoke and Splizz. She is currently working on a couple of books and remains committed to experimental fiction and the complex relationship between private and public domains in terms of meaning and comprehension. She also continues to write poetry.