Ghulam Abbas, translated from Urdu by G.A. Chausse

Read time: a minute

The meeting of the Municipal council was at full boil.’ They were discussing the expulsion of zanaan-e-baazaari from the city. The expulsion was being justified with all the possible moral reasons and it was decided that the prostitutes would be resettled in another patch of land around twelve kos far from this city.

The women didn’t like it. Several stayed in the city in hotels and rented accommodations. Only fourteen of them decided to move out to the newly allotted land. They began the construction of their new houses. The lower floors were left of shopkeepers, since they obviously needed goods from them to survives. The upper floors were meant for living quarters. One large road was constructed that divided seven houses on each side.

As the shopkeepers grew, they needed a mosque. After the mosque an Imam was set up in it. After which the pir fakir’s tomb that was found around started getting crowd. Then came post office, electricity, schools, colleges, cinemas and the new city that was his established was renamed Husnabad- the city of beauty. However, it was later found to be outrageous considering the evident presence of prostitution and thus renamed to Hasanabad to honour Prophet Muhammad.

After some years again a meeting was set up to discuss the expulsion of the prostitutes from Hasanabad this time as it reflected badly on the city. Thus, the story comes to a full circle.

I have hereby narrated the entire story but the beauty of it all is in the narration of Ghulam Abbas and the translation. The irony of being is well explored in each description by the writer. Life is mocked here and so are the people.

Give it a read. You are going to love it.

This story belongs to the collection called ‘The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told’ complied and translated by Muhammad Umar Memon.

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com