Ma’I Dada- The Man With Three Names

Asad Muhammad Khan, translated from Urdu by Muhammad Umar Memon

Read time: a minute

This story is, again, translated from Urdu by Muhammad Umar Memon and is part of collection called ‘The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told’. I have loved each and every story in this particular collection and this one is no different.

The story is about this icon of a man called Ma’I Dada who had three different names. As the names were different so were the stories of his lineage. Some thought him to be a Hindu and some, something else and others something else altogether. Ma’I Dada considered himself to be a Pathan though. He was so proud of it that he would tell tales of Pathans to all the children in the house and repeat it to the next generation as well.

Cover: Ma’I Dada- The Man With Three Names

The entire story talks about this one particular man who wasn’t from the same faith but adopted it as his own and forever remained faithful to it.

Then, just as he had started to move, he broke his stride, turned around and snapped angrily, ‘And listen, don’t let any son-of-a-bitch tell you he wasn’t a Muslim! Don’t let anyone say he wasn’t a Pathan!’

This story, unlike many other stories are not of grief and melancholy of partition or riot. It is just a fun story which also focuses on unity and brotherhood. There quite a few hilarious bits in the story that will make you giggle. The story is told from the point of view of a boy. That makes it all the more interesting.

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH