Blasphemy is the third book Tehmina Durrani penned (but was her literary debut) in 1991 after she wrote her autobiography titled My Feudal Lord and a biography of Abdul Sattar Edhi, Pakistan’s renowned and highly decorated social worker, titled A Mirror to the Blind.
The book is said to be based on a true story with some names altered. Whether it is a true story or not, it will shake you right down to your little toe. I am not going to talk about the story or what happens in this book. I am only going to tell you how this book has impacted me.
The book is an eye-opener and though the events described in the book are horrifying, it is not possible to stop reading once you start. The book also subtly highlights the strength of a woman and how much she is willing to sacrifice for the sake of her children, to the extent of assisting in and going down the wrong path. I was stunned when I finished reading the book, in fact I cannot find proper words to describe how I felt or even feel right now. I would say that I feel numb if that can even be counted as a feeling! Frankly no person is bad. I would look at every person through shades of grey. However, doing something and justifying it in the name of religion is something that is not right. We should be aware of this and try to avoid it both for our sake and the sake of others. But I will say that this book is a must read for people mainly because of the issues (though controversial) discussed and every human should be made aware of the way women are treated in some places.
Set in South Pakistan, this controversial novel is a searing study of evil. It is the tragic and shocking story of the beautiful Heer, brutalized and corrupted by Pir Sain, the so-called man of God whom she is married to at the age of fifteen. But the nightmare she is locked into is not hers alone; it affects the entire clan that owes allegiance to the pir. Sucked into the fetid hell of her lord’s making, Heer loses her dignity, her freedom, even her humanity, till a terrible resolution gives her back to herself.
I do hope everyone reads this book. I am sorry for not going into detail about the story though I have included the summary/synopsis given at the back of the book. I would rather everyone reads it and see for themselves!