Shazaf Fatima Haider, a Karachi based writer has launched her debut novel titled as “How it happened”. Shazaf’s book talks about the funny side of arranged marriages and how the various cultural backgrounds in Pakistan add more humour to the phenomenon. The theme of the novel is like How exactly strangers met in contrived settings, were expected to like each other and get married.
The novel is basically the story of a Dadi, the matriarch of the Bandian family in Karachi, and her quest to find the perfect Shia Muslim groom for her granddaughter Zeba. Told from the point of view of Zeba’s younger sibling Saleha, the novel explores how negotiating ancient marriage traditions in the 21st century could stretch a family to the end of its tether. Dadi, swears by the virtues of arranged marriage. All her ancestors – including a dentally and optically challenged aunt – have been perfectly well-served by such arrangements. But her grandchildren are harder to please.
Shazaf, a teacher by profession is a master degree holder in english literature from Karachi University.“I grew up listening to stories of my mother’s home town in India and so the fictional town of ‘Bhakuraj’ was born as this vital, bizarre place full of eccentric people,” Shazaf explained during an interview with a news source.
When she as asked about sectarian violence she answered, “Never make the mistake that what is happening on the political scene is a representative of what the ordinary citizen thinks or wants – people desire unity, peace and stability, not violence and bloodshed.” Shazaf has started work on her second novel, which is expected to be out in the near future.