Happy Things in Sorrow Times
"Thank you…For my late father, Shakirullah Durrani, who carried the burden of my 'Flight to Freedom' with the dignity and courage characteristic of a Pathan.
Who pardoned my thirteen long years of exile from our home in Shaikh Kalae, Charsaddah, KhyberPakhtunkhwa, where he lived in retirement, and allowed me to spend the last ten years of his life making up for my transgression.
With whom I spent the most precious weeks before he passed away, amidst a sporadic spate of bomb blasts and rocket attacks on the road from our home to the medical complex in Hyatabad.
From whom I understood that the price he exacted by disowning me was minimal according to the ethics and culture he belonged to. He just let me 'fly' away.
May his soul know that wherever I 'reach', I shall remain rooted where he left me.... In Shaikh Kalae, Charsaddah.
This book is about his people and his home.
I dedicate it with profound love and deepest respect to an exceptional man."
The story of an invincible nation. BY KHALED AHMED
With Happy Things, Durrani writes close to her own life. The irrepressible little Basrabia is actually the Afghan-Pakhtun refugee girl she brought up, and it is not difficult to see the author in her. She writes in the dedication: “My paternal grandfather, Maj. Muhammad Zaman Durrani, belonged to the Popalzai clan of the Abdali tribe. He migrated from Kandahar to the Charsadda district of… Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. My paternal grandmother was the daughter of Syed Amin Jan Bacha, ruler of Kunar, in Afghanistan's Nuristan province".
Born under bombs falling from the sky, the Basrabia grows up asking questions no one can answer. Her hero, a boy named Sher Khan, is a tribal child with hubris written into his DNA. He is young, full of bravado, wearing freedom on his sleeve, and equating defeat with women. Basrabia idealizes him as her dream prince despite knowing he was incapable of thinking straight. She tells him: “Women know more things because they think". Her advice to the 'unintelligent' warrior is not taken. He is the warlord at the end of the book who whisks her away to an uncertain end because jihad, not life, is ongoing... more...
Durrani up for war-hit children
...the peace that the world leadership tried to achieve through war on terror had endangered the world forever. "It is our responsibility to ensure that the world leadership does not walk away without carrying this burden on their shoulders", she said...more...
Tehmina launches crusade for children of war...
She said that she will formally begin the movement by raising the flag of peace at the Pak-Afghan border soon. With that, she said Pakistan will give the Afghan child (70% of is under the age of 25) a hand of security, concern and love. 'Jehad' she said 'is not the name of brutality but is a phenomenon which is to be employed for the welfare of humans like the Jehad done by Abdus Sattar Edhi...' more...
'A soul-searching story told from the heart of a child...
a story of resilience, dignity, integrity and heroic patriotism.'
'Although the book came to a 'kind' of conclusion, I realized that I had chosen a nation to write about...
and nations don't end.
Therefore the story could also not end on the last page of Happy Things in Sorrow Times. It would have to be the first part of a sequel.'
...a gathering of diplomats and Pakistan's power elite packed the PNCA auditorium at the occasion...
Illustrations in 'Happy Things in Sorrow Times' - by Tehmina Durrani
Tehmina Durrani, write, activist and artist, launched her new book 'Happy Things in Sorrow Times' at the Pakistan Naitonal Council of Arts in Islamabad. A story of courage and endurance amidst the violence unleashed by terrorism, the book is Durrani's tribute to brave people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, from where her own father hailed. a gathering of diplomats and Pakistan's power elite packed the PNCA auditorium at the occasion. Amongst those present were General Hamid Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Shehzad Roy, Dr Maleeha Lodhi, Bilal Lakhani and Ahmed Rashid.
Daily Times magazine - Good Times (GT)