Corruption and degradation take over their lives. Jobless, and without any real hope of a better life, they find themselves in the clutches of unprincipled evil people who exploit them. Their widowed mother is first pursued by a conniving man from the neighbourhood who apparently wants to marry her. But whose real intentions are to get access to her pretty young daughter, Sultana, for his sexual pleasure. After this man marries the mother, he arranges a medically facilitated murder of her. Then the vulnerable children are exploited in every way by the neighbourhood shady characters.

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Shelves: reads , urdu , some-other-time , not-my-type , asian-authors , this-is-serious , unrealistic-in-parts Raziya Begum, a widow lives with her three kids Sultana, Nosha and Annu. Her eldest daughter has passed away, who was married to Neyaz. The three of them do everything from stealing to puncturing tyres to earn a rupee or two. At their age, they drink, they gamble and visit brothels.

Neyaz is a scrap dealer primarily dealing with stolen goods. Raziya is smart enough to sense his interest. Neyaz and Raziya also get involved with each other. Really, despite knowing what plans the other has? Kale Sahab is an insurance agent, relentlessly working to make new clients for his commission. Forming an alliance with Kale and Motu, Neyaz buys an insurance and marries Raziya.

Salman is a student, who is disowned by his family and is now addicted to gambling and alcohol and starts selling his belongings to Neyaz. Heartbroken by the constant beating and insults, the three friends run away but Shami returns.

Raja and Nosha are brought to Shah ji and after a theft and police case, eventually end up in jail. The story spirals and spins new subplots, introducing new characters; some good and some evil.

Mostly evil. Safdar Basheer, a wealthy man with some good intent, forms a new organization Falak Paima for social services — adult education, health, cleaning etc. Salman associated with it, working for them. Doctor Zaidi and Ali Ahmed two nice souls also join the organization. Falak Paima sounded like the ray of hope in the otherwise messed up world filled with messed up people.

However, soon, they get drawn to the temptation of politics and Safdar suddenly turns into an evil, drinking, careless man. Falak Paima and its journey highlights the issues related to election and awful tactics that are deployed to win the election. Raziya succumbs to the poisons being injected in her body and passes away. Nosha is released from jail and becomes part of a gang of pick-pocketers lead by Pedro.

Raja was released from jail because he was sick and now working as a beggar at the railway station. Nosha wants to gather money for his treatment and tries to hide some money from Pedro. He is beaten up and kicked out. Annu is kicked out of the house and runs into Nauroz, a child molester. After suffering for a few weeks, he runs away, only to end up with eunuchs and becoming one of them. Salman returns home, gets married and his wife gets involved with his boss, adding more torture to the already grave story.

The story continues, shit happens to all the characters from rape to murder to what not. When Nosha meets Sultana and finds out the truth, he kills Neyaz and ends up in jail, again. Sultana is raped again by so-called relatives of Neyaz. Her butler takes her home, but his wife does not have a big heart.

Sultana meets a few people and eventually ends up at the headquarters of Falak Paima, marrying Ali Ahmed. The story stops just as abruptly as it leaves the other subplots in the middle. I was disappointed and relieved at the same time when it ended.

I mean, these kids, most of them, were young — about sixteen years of age. How and when did they start drinking, gambling and visiting heera mandi? None of the characters had a good fate. I am not saying that everything should be glorious and happy in a story, but is real world filled with no kind soul? Shit happens, left, right and center. All characters act terribly and meet with a terrible end. Rape obviously , Laundebaazi repeated theme throughout the story , theft a norm with most characters , incest, exploiting in the name of religion, riots, shit behind politics and election, the awful lives of those in jail, extra-marital affairs, effects of bad company on women cuz all women do is shop, watch movies, and waste money Why?

The story starts with greed and ends with death, for most of the characters. By the way, I notice some similarities with other characters.


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