Moirae by Mehreen Ahmed : A Book Review
Review by Alok Mishra
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I am very happy and satisfied to announce that there are ‘many writers who do not simply produce cheap entertainment, but write with a motive to depict intellectual philosophy.’ At least, after reading Moirae by Mehreen Ahmed, one can say it. I have been keeping a close watch on the recent literary (at least some say it literary) trend, and I have found the writers simply provide instant entertainment and nothing in the terms of something that remains as a strong outcome, even after reading the last page of the book. To say it bare, as soon as you close the book, every short-lived ideology weaved by the writer ends; the ephemeral thrill of girlfriends, boyfriends and extra marital affairs, all are extinct! However, with Moirae, written by Mehreen Ahmed, this is not the case! She has created something that strongly follows you (by any means) throughout the book, as well as after you finish the book.
Moirae is a dark tale; a negative fable; an adventure tale, or may be a dystopia for someone. In short, it keeps you captivated and everyone is free to name his/her perception according to what they extract from the reading. In fact, from the beginning itself, the book pictures different landscapes for every reader. Written in an experimental narrative style – stream of consciousness, this book reminds me the narrative of To The Light House by Virginia Woof. The name of the chapters are symbolic, as they depict Red Tempest, Ash Woodlands, Black Stream, Orange Soils and many more like this. Not only that, the symbolic imagery can also be witnessed in the name of the places, in fact, allegorical names – Lost Winds! As the name suggests, the place suffers a real loss – the loss of moral and ethical values. One can best understand the allegorical significance on page 65:
“There wasn’t a single family in the Lost Winds, except for the influential, which enjoyed some peace here. Each had their own burden of woes, transpiring in their own way into classic tragedy. The graver a situation became, however, the more people hung in limbo, and the more astute they became.”
Mehreen has created a powerful ‘dream reality’ and tried to tell that what can happen in a world where there is no justice and corruption everywhere. In such a world, what can survive? The author says it very clearly on the page 95:
“What was left of this enchanting village was nothing more than a place of complete chaos, where crimes prevailed over justice and hatred over love.”
Yes, one can feel it. The world where justice and love enjoy no important place, only hatred and violence can rein supreme! Bring the Blue Moon, but the doom annunciated by two moons cannot be undone.
Yes, there is no more for the readers who wish to enjoy just a temporal respite in the letters. This book says something; this book talks to you; this book lets you ponder. People may announce it as an intellectual read. However, in the last of everything, the book is a pleasure and treasure as well. Kudos to the writer for a successful implementation of the stream of consciousness technique.