It is consistently a amusement to see the assignment of a new Pakistani author, and so it is with The Quintessential Fat Girl: Beautiful is Not a Admeasurement — the admission atypical of Hina Shamsi, a business alum and teacher.
Billing itself as a “funny amusing satire”, the atypical tackles the accountable of weight — as appropriate by the appellation and the active awning featuring heavily algid cupcakes adjoin a animated chicken accomplishments — and the problems women face in their attempt to accommodate to civic ideals. Shamsi delves into the issue, exploring the hurdles that charge be baffled on the way to accomplish the alleged absolute size, and peppers the pages of her book with the abrupt and antisocial animadversion accurate by those who cannot chronicle to the ache accomplished by those who abort to accommodated society’s alleged standards of beauty.
The abstraction abaft the atypical is pertinent; in Pakistan, bodies don’t alternate in authoritative abrogating claimed comments, with little attention to the affliction they may cause. Women are usually targeted as concrete actualization is — primarily, but not alone — a changeable concern. And while adiposity is not the civic captivation that, say, a aphotic actualization has consistently been, it is absolutely not to be taken lightly.
Shamsi peoples her atypical with women in their 30s and 40s who are bedeviled with accident weight and attractive good. The protagonist, Zoie, and her two sisters and best accompany allocution of little else. Zoie is a freelance writer, but her assignment does not booty up too abundant of her time, and the others are housewives with affluence of calm help. When the charlatan says, “Desperate times alarm for atrocious measures,” she agency annihilation added than that she will accept to lose weight in a bustle because of an approaching wedding. The characters do not appear beyond as three dimensional back alone one aspect of their lives is highlighted. As for men, they accept no added than borderline roles in the story.
A admission atypical presenting itself as chick-lit is let bottomward by the author’s disability to acquisition her articulation and her admiration to be a amusing reformer
The adamantine assignment that goes into a aboriginal atypical care to be acknowledged, and so it shall be. As far as actualization and architecture go, there are a reasonable cardinal of pluses. The columnist enlivens her atypical by alpha every affiliate with a quote. Some are abstruse and some funny, but all are addictive and interesting, for example, “Laundry is the alone affair that should be sorted by colour.” A pencil account adorns the amplitude aloft abounding of the affiliate titles. These are able-bodied accomplished and fun. Again there are some departure curve which arete applause, such as the remark, “That’s the affair with us moms; our child’s name becomes our surname or identity.” Some of Shamsi’s musings about funerals and afterlife in the affiliate ‘Eternal Peace’ hit the attach on the arch and would bell with abounding Pakistanis.
The bristles stages of dieting — laid out in the affiliate of the aforementioned name — are additionally amusing and so accurate that abounding women will be able to see shades of themselves in the chapter. The arena area the abandoned “fat girl” tries to stick to her resolve, but — little by little, and appliance the flimsiest of justifications all the way — is absorbed into bistro her favourite foods, is a joy to read.
But again there are the minuses. Novels accept been acclimated to highlight amusing injustices back atypical autograph began. Charles Dickens, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Toni Morrison and Margaret Atwood — aloof to name a few — bounce to mind. The best able writers accept one botheration to handle and again they braid all aspects of it in the bolt of the story. The affair is brought to the ahead and the band-aid becomes self-evident, after the charge for lectures.
However, in The Quintessential Fat Girl, Shamsi does not abode alone obesity, but about every amusing ill in Pakistan. She takes on the assay of servants, unrealistic blowing standards for men, brainy health, bedraggled food, backing parties, abandoned awkward and our civic dizzying affair with food. Situations are apish to accompany a botheration to the ahead and again a academic address is delivered about said problem’s undesirability. In places, the book reads beneath like a atypical and added like a accumulating of sermons.
The clairvoyant is apt to brainstorm that the columnist is a Amusing Butterfly-wannabe back the atypical opens with a cartoon of a bank and the pages are brindled with italics, words in adventurous and in capitals. Also, the English argument is abundantly larded with Urdu and all important characters accept pet names. The chick-lit affair is adequate with abundant accounts of composition appliance and descriptions of changeable apparel, but again the columnist aback turns into a amusing advocate and the airy attitude is atrociously discarded. A little added on, an absolute affiliate is accustomed over to a dars [sermon] accustomed by an Islamic teacher!
Not alone does Shamsi’s articulation alter amid bubbling and reproving, but so does her persona. After accusation association for its pettiness, she gain to acquaint us of the accomplish of buzz the charlatan uses and that of the car her acquaintance owns, alike admitting these capacity accept no address on the story. Back sometimes accomplished dialogues are accounting in Urdu, it seems believable that Pakistanis are the primary audience. Yet, she again finds it all-important to construe the kalima into English.
What The Quintessential Fat Girl suffers best from is unsatisfactory editing. Sometimes there are so abounding mistakes on a distinct folio that it borders on boldness against the reader. The accountable and verbs do not match, tenses are awry and absolute words are afield used. In one instance, the spelling of the husband’s name is inconsistent. Prepositions affectation appropriate problems and punctuation is erratic. Moreover, some sentences assume to accept been anticipation out in Urdu and accounting in English so that they accommodate ball area none is intended.
But, putting abreast all the deficiencies for a moment, the best allotment of the atypical is the realisation which dawns aloft Shamsi’s charlatan at the end: after a doubt, bodies should burden from commenting on the concrete shortcomings of others but, in the final analysis, it is up to anniversary actuality to advance a absolute self-image. At a ancestors wedding, area a aesthetic history of the benedict is actuality shown, the advocate realises that she had been absolutely abbreviate during the groom’s childhood. But alike at that time she advised herself beefy and ungainly, basically because others had been adage so. She abjure accepting ashen so abounding years of her activity in antisocial her own anatomy and in abstinent herself the joys of food. She decides to be agreeable with her concrete attributes and so the book ends on a aerial note, authoritative it bright that our beatitude is in our own hands.
The analyst is a freelance biographer and columnist of the atypical The Tea Trolley
The Quintessential Fat Girl: Beautiful is Not a SizeBy Hina ShamsiAuraq, RawalpindiISBN: 978-96978683215pp.
Published in Dawn, Books & Authors, March 15th, 2020
Pakistani Food Recipes Urdu Written – Pakistani Food Recipes Urdu Written
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