February and March in review

So, February flew by faster for me and was less productive than January. I didn’t publish a single blog. I finished only one book during the whole month, but only because there was a deadline to it, and started one other. Worse, it was generally an emotionally taxing month for me, and that interfered with my ability to focus on the task at hand. As a result, I couldn’t read or write as much as I’d have liked.

March, on the contrary, was much better. I finished three books, two of them pretty intense ones. One of these was Amsterdam by Ian McEwan, which I finished in five days. Quite a big achievement for me!

However, a lot of other things went well for me in the last two months. In February, I sarvathasincoverread a book by an old school friend and wrote a review of it for Books & AuthorsI read out my first published poem at the official (sort of) launch of The Mongrel Book of Voices, Volume I: Breakups. At the Karachi Literature Festival 2017, copies of my Mongrel Books anthology was available at the Liberty Books stall. Some of my friends of my friends bought their copies and I signed those for them. One idiotic thing I did do was sign the whole damned page and not leave much space for others to sign. (Eeek!) But the best part was finding a prominently-displayed copy of Urdu Poetry, 1935–1970: A Progressive Episode by Carlo Coppola, the book that I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into, at the OUP bookstall. I bought the book immediately and ran around showing it off to my friends and family all day.

In March, I started working at the Karachi Biennale as Assistant Publications and Marketing Coordinator. March was a good month, despite all the mood slumps. I wrote a lot. My bullet journal and the Memo app on my phone are filled with notes and scribblings collected throughout the last month. I am now working on creating blog drafts and scheduled posts for my blog from all these notes so I can keep updating my blog over the course of the next few weeks.

Another good thing that happened in March is that my editorial team at the Zabaan: A Journal of Art and Literature resumed operations and submissions have been reopened on the usual rolling basis. I am happy and proud of the progress we have made so far, despite our continuing slow pace.  

Some things I have realised in the last two months:

  1. I do not have the discipline to sit down every week and produce well-written, high-quality blog posts.
  2. Discipline and routine does not come naturally to all writers, and definitely not to me.
  3. My strength as a writer is writing stuff that is full of raw, bursting emotion, and I think The Life and Adventures of a Bibliophile must cater to my strengths, instead of focusing on forcing myself to be something I am not.

Books I finished reading:

Books I’m still reading:

  • A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
  • Stay With Me, Maniza Naqvi

Books on my TBR list:

  • Nobody Killed Her, Sabyn Javeri
  • How It Happened, Shazaf Fatima Haider
  • First Love, Last Rites, Ian McEwan


In April, I’m looking forward to making my way through my TBR list. What are your plans for April?


4 thoughts on “February and March in review

  1. I’m reading another couple from the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction long list, Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing I’m currently reading and that has been shortlisted and I ordered Naomi Alderman’s The Power which sounds like an intriguing premise. I’m thinking about reading Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin (Argentina) which is on the Man Booker International longlist, so many wonderful books to read at the moment, oh yes and Exit West maybe I’ll read that next by Mohsin Hamid.

    I’m interested to hear how you find the comparison between Little Women and This Wide Night, good idea to read them close to each other, I don’t think I’ve ever read Little Women.

    All the best with the new job and the re-initiation of your journal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Claire! Glad to hear from you. I’d never read Little Women before, but decided to read it as I had a copy of it lying around. I prefer This Wide Night’s Little Women over the original March sisters. Alcott’s book too sexist and conventional for my tastes. If I’d read it before I read This Wide Night, I wouldn’t have liked the latter as much as I did because I’d have associated it with Alcott’s novel.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds like you chose well, I have to say I’m more attracted to the contemporary version, classic works often require us to overlook aspects and attitudes that we find difficult to accept today, the challenges continue to exist, but our way of responding to them has evolved.


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