Title: Made in Pakistan
Author: Lynette Viccaji
If your parents or grandparents never told you about the Karachi of the past, then this is the book that you want to pick up.
As I write this review I can’t help but think that if she were ever to read it, would she put on her ‘teacher spectacles’ and read with a critical eye looking for mistakes and grammatical errors. It feels like school all over again!
Lynette Viccaji was born on 12th June 1955 in Karachi. She is a renowned English Literature teacher in Karachi for O-levels and A-levels and has been in the education sector for approximately 30 years.
‘Made in Pakistan’ is a humorous account by a Pakistani-Christian who essentially saw the changes that took place within Pakistan, all the good and most definitely the bad. The book progresses from the much simpler and smaller Karachi to the metropolitan it is now. Each chapter within the book connects with the other and transitions smoothly. And you will easily find incidents and accounts in the book that will be easy to relate to.
Write a memoir and you become the protagonist to your own novel. The novel tackles identity crisis, urbanization and radicalization, to name a few. There is wisdom, wit and humor in her words. She recounts tales of student life, navigating the streets of Karachi with all the varying degrees of “mailas” you will find, becoming a teacher, a wife and a mother and much more. The book details the people and incidents that made her who she is today and what an entertaining, adventurous and colorful she has had. The book starts by recounting how a radio commentator mindlessly referred to the Pakistani cricket team as the “Islami Army” and thus immediately acknowledges the narrator’s position and perspective as a Pakistani-Christian.
I had no expectations going into the book, as it should be. But then it became difficult to put the book down. With laugh-out-loud moments, where she narrates the many times that her house has been infested by rats or the time that her daughter dissected a lizard and carefully placed the specimen on her dressing table, you too will have a hard time holding your laughter.
I can’t wait to read more from Viccaji. You definitely should buy your copy now!
This review is submitted by Sana Noor.
You can follow her Blog here.
Available Now: Liberty Books