Goodreads Synopsis: Tehmina Durrani made her sensational literary debut in 1991 with her controversial autobiography My Feudal Lord. Blasphemy, her next major work, promises to generate the same degree of excitement. Set in south Pakistan, the novel inspired by a true story, is a searing study of evil; an uncompromising look at the distortion of Islam by predatory religious leaders.
In prose of great power and intensity, the author tells the tragic story of the beautiful Heer, brutalized and corrupted by Pir Sain, the man of God, whom she is married to when barely fifteen. But the nightmare she is locked into is not hers alone; it affects the entire clan that owes allegiance to the pir. In the Pir’s haveli, unspeakable horrors are perpetrated every day and every night, all in the name of Allah. 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.
Goodreads Rating: 3.59/5
My Rating: 2.5/5
Review: There may be possible spoilers in here. Read at your own peril.
As soon as it was known that I wanted to read Blasphemy by Durrani, I was told by many friends that it will leave me disturbed and I will have nightmares for many nights. All these comments did, was fuel the fire of my curiosity and I was all the more inclined to reading it.
After getting my hands on a copy, as soon as I could, I started reading it.
In a nutshell, it is, indeed, a disturbing tale. The first night I sat reading it, I had a hard time sleeping. The thoughts going round and round in my head, making me ponder about the lack of humanity in the human race.
Blasphemy is the tale of Heer. What befell her and what she did.
While I could sympathise with the girl who was forced into a marriage, I could not sympathise with the woman who forced a child into the wolf’s path. While I could feel protective and be angry on behalf of the woman whose husband raped her and forced other men on, I cant bring myself to feel anything for the woman who found pleasure in the same bed and then kept saying her husband forced it on her. Once she decided to have the pleasure for herself, it ceased to be rape, she did it of her will!
Never personally being in the situation as Heer, I would not claim to say what should or what should not have been done or felt. But, as this book propagates the misfortune of the Muslim women, I must say, the issue here is not Islam. The issue is illiteracy.
If people knew enough to understand their scripture, their holy book, there would have been no platform for the pirs or such to build a presence for themselves.
The same stands true for other religions. For religion is one weapon that such people bring to their disposal to cripple the masses who don’t understand what their religion is all about.
A one time read for me because who can digest this again?
Leaving the story for a bit, the writing style is not engaging. At all. Emotions are what would keep people glued to the pages instead.