In Other Rooms, Other Wonders: A book that explains the darkest mindset of our society

Daniyal Mueenuddin was brought up in Lahore, Pakistan and Elroy, Wisconsin. An alum of Dartmouth College and Yale Law School, his stories have been featured in The New Yorker, Granta , Zoetrope, The Best American Short Stories 2008, and the forthcoming PEN/O.Henry Prize Stories 2010. He is the 2010 winner of The Story Prize, a yearly book grant for short story collections, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and the LA Times Book Prize. For various years he specialized in legal matters in New York. He now lives on a ranch in Pakistan’s southern Punjab.

The book is one of the debut collections of Daniyal Mueenuddin which has been a winner of 2009 Story Prize, Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction and the 2009 Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Falling in the genre of Short Story, it consists of 8 different stories revolving around a rich member, K.K Harouni, of the Harouni family settled deep in Lahore, explaining the darkest mindset of some very rich and very poor Pakistani people.

The content of the book consists of eight stories i.e. interlinked to each other through the main character named K.K Harouni a classic feudal landowner, a very old man and a patron set in Lahore. All the stories are about the household employees of the Harouni family who are all more or less corrupt.

The story describes the existence of corruption from top to bottom in the House of Harounis. The chapter that explains the main downfall of K.K Harouni is “Provide, Provide”. After a string of awful speculations push him into genuine obligation, K. K. Harouni starts to offer his territory in Dunyapur economically to any individual who will pay. His territory supervisor, Chaudhrey Jaglani, directs these undertakings. Jaglani himself never gives an open door a chance to cruise him by.

Every chapter, story, has a sub character that is directly or indirectly affecting or is linked to the main character K.K Harouni, the landlord around whom the eight stories revolve. Others are Nawabdeen, a manager and electrician who is cold natured and corrupt as he makes efforts to earn by unfair means, Saleema, a woman who is bound to addiction and abuse and is in search of a better life, Chaudhery Jaglani, who is a dishonest Employee of K.K Harouni, Khadim, who is a cold hearted murderer and a thief, Husna, a maid who begins a relationship with K.K Harouni, Sohail Harouni and Helen, who appeared in Our Lady of Paris, Rezak, who dies alone with his precious possessions looted.

The whole book basically shows the darkest coldest stories of taboo that happen in Pakistan with a living example of the Harounis. These kinds of incidents are quite common in both lower labour and upper class of our society. The book depicts the mentality of such people. It also explains how greed for money, Land and women corrupts one’s mind.

Daniyal Mueenuddin is an excellent writer and knows very well how to play with the reader’s mind. The way he creates the whole scene in the reader’s mind is absolutely realistic. It feels like watching an actual movie. The writer has well stated about the Pakistani mentality but this kind of sickness lies only in few people thousands, mainly who belong to backward areas. Thus it creates a pretty negative image of the original culture and nature of Pakistani people. The style of writing is amazing but it is not suitable for audience of all age groups. This whole book and all the stories in it constitute massive level lustful pleasure.

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