Review by: Javeed Ahmad Rather
The romantic debut novel And The Sun Never Rose Again is written by a Kashmiri budding writer Jahangeer Majazi, native of Hajin. This is a smooth love fable of Zaid and Zohra who both admire each other but mysteriously gets parted.
The first fateful encounter of the two lovers is the heart of the story. Zaid’s fondness for Zohra is not based on logic or reality; rather it is rooted in passion and fantasy. Zaid considers his passionate heart as his most laudable characteristic. His impassioned behavior, however, leads him down a dark path with tragic results. In the novel Zaid is variably despaired by the disillusioned physical imposture of Zohra’s beauty as he commits the sin of admiration which alters his overall psychic reaction. He becomes incapable of getting back to the life again as he often tries to either through snow fighting or parental affection. He always feels lacking and missing something which always lets him fall from the actual facts. In a way, sorrow and discontent takes deep roots in Zaid’s soul. The peace of his mind and heart becomes completely disturbed, a perpetual excitement and mental irritation, which weakens his natural powers, produces the saddest effects upon him, and renders him at length the victim of an exhaustion against which he struggles with still more painful efforts than he had displayed, even in contending with his other misfortunes. His mental anxiety weakens his various good qualities and ultimately he is converted into a gloomy companion, always unhappy and unjust in his ideas. Somewhere in the ending pages of the novel he dreams himself a completely wretched person.
“The tired eyes that were fixed in his colourless countenance were holding the oceans of sorrow and the soul that his body bore wanted to go for the eternal rest.” (106)
Author: Jahangeer Majazi
New Delhi: Authorspress, 2017.
Pages: 110, Price: 295.
All this happens due to his unbounded love for Zohra.
Was he, however, to blame for wishing to avert from her every appearance of suspicion or his unwillingness to share? These queries remain unanswered as we can see how Zaid tries to disdain from the facts while eluding all this to be unreal:
“You still love me?” Zohra asked.
“Yes, always!” Zaid replied.
“But I hate you! You stained my reputation!” Zohra screamed.
“You are lying.” Zaid replied in a flat voice.
“You did!” Zohra screamed again.
“You are not real! Stay away!” Zaid mumbled lowering his gaze.
“You did even tarnish my parent’s status!” Zohra screamed once again.
“Don’t yell. I told you, you are not real.” Zaid said.” (100)
We can merely assume that every conduct of Zohra was oppressive to Zaid in his heart of hearts which in the final sections of novel shows its fruits.
“Everyday Zaid felt his insane being receding and becoming more and more unapparent. Illness has offensively devoured his entire self. He knew he couldn’t escape the clutches of his bleeding mind and could never elude the shadow of his insanity. He was a corpse unburied.” (100)
The vain attempt of Zaid while making his unhappy soul little calm was through an imaginary world of disillusions which he had created just in pursuit of panacea for his life; was about to be extinguished along with him. Again at the end of the novel, he disillusions himself through the promise of Zohra and he is ready to venture into a world of darkness where the sun never rises but disillusions do.
We see in the novel the play of ‘disillusionment’ has been vividly displayed. It’s only the dis-allusions which variably make him raise little and fall always. Hence, the novel closes with the disillusionment of waiting.
In this whimsical, deeply affectionate novel, Zaid is both context and protagonist, alive in its conscience, love, and sadness, in the vibrant colour of the first glance of her beloved, in the mysteries that lie between Zaid and Zohra.
This novel is a kind of love fable for our times, eluding the horror and chaos yet pursuing the rise and fall in love, and the unexpected kindness for the beloved and the mysterious parting. For that reason alone, it makes for a good read.
With kindness and in unpretentious melodic prose, Jahangeer Majazi draws upon a deep disposition of human nature while introducing an appropriate element of a compelling tale of love and leaves a devil who sometimes spells magic of love on readers, thus making it another love-legend.
The most distant thing about Zaid and Zohra is that they are insensible. In the meetings of two lovebirds, their sharing of love whispers, the author is maybe trying to unmask the perceptible differences they have. This part is further played through the role of religion in the novel.
Comely rendered Jahangeer’s prose has a unique rhythm and is bright and brawny leading the reader to an unexpected strange love ruminating that is laced with dry love and play less humour. It’s genuinely impossible not to be swept by the tale and to leave the book un-ended.
The tale of life has been nicely shown and compared to the bus journey. Alike the bus, life too carries the feelings of gloom and gay. Alike the life, bus too passes through the ways which are familiar and strange. And ultimately bus has to stop somewhere when all its passengers alight and similar is the cause of life. When all such burdens, some dear, and some bitter stops to breathe in life, life stops to breathe itself alike the Zaid in the end of the novel.
It’s actually in the bus where Zohra throws her final pangs of love on Zaid which in a way lifts most of his burdens away and forsakes him as an undesired soul under the tree of desires.
Novels emphasis is primarily on passion and later half is full of contemplation and bit of voluptuousness. Little study has been drawn to the character rather author has put all his efforts on the single character that is the protagonist of the book. Zaid is the perfect lover finely drawn. It’s through him author has heightened the intensity of the rendering by his powerfully dramatic language. Little can be said about the heroine of the novel. Probably Jahangeer’s heroine is a light skirt whose sole requirement is secrecy albeit ‘she is the woman in love, with all a woman’s natural weakness’. The ebb and the flow of her feelings from the first visit of Zaid to her final yielding are described with a subtlety of thought into the working of a woman’s heart.
In the overall thesis the novel is powerfully woven in an uncanny whisper of the many dusks of love and how it can yield or tear down the human kinships.
(Author has done P.G. in English, currently lives in Hajin. He writes short stories and poems. Many of his write-ups has been published in national, international and regional journals and daily newspapers)