Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dr Shahzad A Rizvi's two novels in Bhopal's background: Fiction at best

Dr. Shahzad Ahmed Rizvi, who is a Washington-based writer, has written several books in English, but the venue of his two novels is Bhopal, where Dr. Rizvi spent several years of his early life and did his MA (English) from Hamidia College. Both the novels are totally fictional and have nothing to do with the Royal Family or any other citizen of Bhopal. The novels, The Last Resident and Behind the Veil can be read on Dr. Shahzad’s website (Report by Muslim Saleem, Bhopal - April 6, 2011).........................................................................................................................
The Last Resident: Nigel Hadley, an Englishman, after taking a degree from Oxford University, enters Indian Civil Service during the last years of the British rule in India. As he boards the ship at Southampton bound for India he discovers that the new Viceroy and his niece, Pamela, is also aboard. She is going to India with her uncle to recover from a failed love affair. Viceroy pushes them to get married and while in India appoints Nigel as a Collector of Aligarh. Nigel likes the university but Pamela does not care for Aligarh. On Sir Syed Day Nawab of Bhopal comes to Aligarh - he is an Aligarian - and Nigel meets him and both men like each other. Nawab Sahib comes up with the idea that Nigel should be appointed British Resident in Bhopal where his wife could be happy. Viceroy agrees and Nigel is appointed as the Resident and moves to Bhopal where Nawab Sahib gives him Minto Hall for the Residency. In Bhopal, Nigel falls in love with Shahzad Mehrun Nisa who is married to a cruel man. Pamela is murdered and all suspect Nigel that may have killed her. The whole issue is resolved by the Prime Minister of Bhopal, who is also Mehru's teacher. Many interesting developments take place during the course of the story In Delhi, Aligarh, Simla, and finally in Bhopal. You have to read the book to enjoy the novel which is a work of fiction and has no connection with the late Nawab Sahib and his family.
Behind the Veil: It is the story of an Indian Muslim woman who falls in love with a writer after reading a story by him. Her parents try to dissuade her but she remains determined to marry him sight unseen. After the marriage her husband turns out to be a great disappointment and proceeds to harm his entire family. Story takes place in Bhopal and goes through many interesting stages and keeps the reader turning the pages. You have to read it to appreciate it.

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