Bano #atozchallenge


Bano is the female protagonist of the Pakistani series ‘Dastaan’(Our long story), which is based on a novel named ‘Bano’ by the Pakistani novelist, Razia Butt. It is set in the days of independence in Ludhiana, Punjab and then in Pakistan. It begins with two close knit families who start slowly to grow apart for the difference in their political views and their support to The Congress and The Muslim League. It follows the love story of Bano and Hassan, and the many trials and tribulations they go through during the partition.

The first few episodes show happy times, and you are bound to be floored by Bano’s bubbly nature and innocence that steals away Hassan’s heart. Bano too falls for his charm. They meet on the wedding of Bano’s elder brother Saleem with Hassan’s only aunt Suraiya. What starts as tease and leg pulling soon blossoms into romance. It is beautiful, the way their love is depicted. They are engaged to be married when Hassan finds himself a job.

But these tender events and life full of love becomes a saga of blood, and violence once the partition starts. Hassan is transferred to Rawalpindi for his job, and unknown to him, Bano’s entire family is murdered in front of her eyes. She has no way to escape to Pakistan, no way to inform Hassan of her whereabouts, or at least tell him that she’s alive. Her life from there is a series of tragedies. Though the story may seem like leaning towards Pakistan and Muslims, there is a balance of both good and evil in these religious groups.

Hassan and Bano meet after five long years. So much has happened within this time, in both their lives. Bano has a son, and is in the verge of madness, and Hassan was just about to marry someone. The unexpected turn of events do not stop here. Watch this series, it’s worth it. Though a tragedy, it’s one of the finest works and one of the most rated Pakistani series. If not anything else, you will get the Pakistani perspective of the partition.

“Sanam Baloch and Fawad Khan did a remarkable job at transporting us to an era where the girl would lower her eyelids on meeting her beau in the veranda unexpectedly, and where a boy would give up the world to be with his lover.”
P.S: This series is presently being telecast in Zindegi channel, with the name changed to 'Waqt ne kiya kya hasseen sitam'  (What time has done to us) for Indian audience.


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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